KEUFFEL S. ESSER COMPANY
1521 N. Danville St., Arlington, Va. 22201
REEL NO. I//
"7^^ P<'a^*U rte.U*
Jpy JTT l>
J : L . BABE,
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT OP THE "NEW YORK WORLD."
PUBLISHED BY DAVID WESLEY & CO
7 & 9 WARREN STREET.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872,
By DAVID WESLEY & CO.,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
MAP OF SOUTH AFHICA.
The Diamond Fields of South Africa occupy, at present, the precise
position that the gold discoveries of California and Australia did some
years ago. Hundreds of emigrants are waiting for reliable information
before starting for these fields. Journalists in the Old World and the
New have been attracted by the dazzling accounts of the valuable
gems that have been found. These finds have been published with
all the attractiveness that bold type could give them, but, with the
bare announcement, all information has ended, and most of those who
have read the news and sighed at the success of the lucky ones, know
as little of the land where these fortunes have been picked up, as they
do of the interior arrangement of the crater of Vesuvius. It is a very
noticeable feature connected with the diamond regions, that the in-
formation which has been disseminated through the medium of the
press, has, more frequently than otherwise, been unreliable, and in no
instance, probably from the fact that in a newspaper sufficient space
could not be afforded, has there been published the details which alone
could guide those abroad in determining whether it is advisable for
them to try their fortune in diamond digging in South Africa. A large
number of pamphlets, it is true, have been circulated ; but it must be
remembered that most, if not all of them, have emanated from those
who have some object or other to induce emigration. The writer of
this has no interest to serve but that of giving those particulars which
he conceives will be of assistance to those whose thoughts are turned
tow r ard the Cape Colony in consequence of these diamond discoveries.
It is very probable that this pamphlet may have the effect of prevent-
ing some men from throwing up comfortable certainties at home to
embark in this great diamond lottery; but those who come, after hav-
ing gone carefully through this work, will, it is certain, be of the
right class ; and will no more regret their hazard at the fields than the
colony will have to mourn over their presence. But it is patent that
v l INTRODUCTION".
the pamphlets which have been issued as mere advertising mediums,
mere baits to catch emigrants, will do more harm to South Africa than
it is possible for any one, at the present stage of the history of the
fields, to well calculate. It is not absurd, it is absolutely cruel to
bring men to these shores under the delusion that, if they land with
£10 in their pockets, they have done the vvisest thing possible, and
that fortunes they must make. On the other hand, it would be the
height of absurdity to warn people that they must not try diamond
seeking in this land. To a very large number of persons the best
advice that could be given them would be, " start at once ; " to prob-
ably a very much larger number it would be equally judicious to
say, "stay at home and mind the business you are now employed
it. ,, This will be best understood from the detailed accounts given
hereafter, and the particulars of practical experience at the fields will
convey, more clearly than any general remarks, the necessary informa-
tion to those who are desirous of knowing anything regarding this
diamond country. The tales of good fortune and ill success will serve
the purpose of conveying the truth better than any comments on the
probabilities of finding. There can be no doubt but that these fields
open up a new existence for this colony which has, for a long number
of years, been unproductive for so vast an extent of land. Colonized
by the Dutch two hundred years ago — since then the great half-way
house from England to India — having been a wine-producing country for
a long period, it has still fallen year by year in thccolonial scale of
superiority. At one time its vast extent of land gave rise to the hope
that it was eminently suited for a wool-producing country. Flocks
soon spread over the land, bidding fair to compete in number with that
scourge of the Cape, the locusts. Cape wool, for a while, pushed the
colony into the stream of prosperity. But then came the de facto
closing of the United States' market to colonial wool. The wool ex-
ports of South America to England increased with marvelous rapidity.
Australia, too, surpassed the Cape, and so wool fell in price. The South
African wool merchant and the South African sheep farmer had his
dream of wealth dispelled like the melting of the morning mists before
the rising sun. The flocks are still increasing and wool still pays ; but
South Africa has learned that upon its wool exports it can not for the
future depend for its whole support. Colonists had to turn their atten-
tion to other products; and, when all was doubt and uncertainty, when
the colonial future appeared at its darkest, the diamond fields burst
INTRODUCTION. v ii
into light like a silver lining to the cloud. For a very considerable
while the colonists refused to place any credence in these diamond
reports which had reached the cars of the diamond merchants and
speculators of Europe. One of the largest of the English firms plau-
sibly, with the intention of setting all doubts to rest, sent, in 18G8, a Mr.
Gregory to the Cape for the purpose of inspecting and reporting on the
probabilities of the existence of diamond mines. Mr. Gregory arrived,
made a hurried run through the colony, went no farther than Coles-
burg, where it was never pretended diamonds had been found, and
then returned to his employers with the assertion that Cape diamoncs
were a myth, a delusion, and a snare. This had the effect of settling
for a few months the diamond fever, which had begun to spread
throughout the colony ; but Mr. Gregory's opinions were very shorily
scattered to the winds by the announcement that a farmer named Van
Niekerk had taken to Aliwal a diamond which had been purchased by
Messrs. Lilienfield Bros, for £11,500. The transition was so great from
Gregory to Niekerk that colonists were more credulous than ever.
The owners of the gem were, however, well assured of the value of
their concession. The "Star of South Africa" was sent to England
with all due deference to its importance and value. The report of the
diamond buyers at home confirmed the fact that " the Star" was all
its owners pretended it Was. This intelligence was received with o TC at
rejoicing in the country. The colonial press was down on Gregory;
and the witticism of the hour, if you desired to tell a man that he
had uttered a falsehood, w^as, that he had told a Gregory. On the
receipt of this news the tide of emigration to the Vaal commenced, and
has continued to increase ever since. In 1870 the finds were so nu-
merous and so valuable— the exports, too, so large, that the control-
era of the diamond markets in Europe could no longer hope to delude
themselves or their customers with the belief that there were no such
things as diamonds to be found in South Africa. Mr. Costa, of the emi-
nent firm of Costa & Co., of Amsterdam, wont post-haste to Capetown
and condemned the fields, as far as he was concerned, although not deny-
ing the fact that diamonds were being found. He thought it probable
that he would return to South Africa if the discoveries were larger.
He had hardly left before the finds increased marvelously on what they
had been before. The diggers were of a different stamp to those who
had been at work previously ; they had better machinery, hence their
success. This brings us up to the end of 18G9, and we then find some
hundreds of men at the diggings. During the next year the numbers
increased from hundreds to thousands, and now from all parts of the
world people are making tracks for the Vaal— with what chance of
success the particulars given elsewhere will best explain.
The following note from Mr. D. G. Croly, of the New York World,
tells its own story :*
World Office, March, 15, 1872.
J. L. Babe— Dear Sir : During the temporary absence of Mr. Manton Marble, the
editor-in-chief of the New York World, you ask me for some testimony as to your
trustworthiness. I can only say that I have known you as a correspondent of the
World from South Africa for the past two years, and that so far as my personal
knowledge extends, your statements can be implicitly relied upon. You were the
first to inform the American public of the very great value of the South African Dia-
mond Mines, and subsequent accounts have fully confirmed all you had written upon
the subject. I know nothing of you personally, beyond the fact that you first visited
South Africa as the agent of the Winchester Arms Co., and subsequently wrote letters
for the New York World. I know nothing about South Africa, of my own personal
knowledge, and would be the last person to advise any one to leave comfortable homes
and assured positions in this country in the hope of securing possible fortunes in so
remote a locality as the Diamond Fields of South Africa. D. G. Croly.
I. Description of the Diamond Country 11
II. Discovery of Diamonds 1G
III. The Rush from the adjoining States 22
IV. Synopsis of my Diary on my First Visit 27
V. " " « « 31
VI. " " « « 36
VII. " " « « 40
VIII. Pniel and Klip Drift 44
IX. Other Mining Camps 50
X. Manner of Mining and Outfits Required, Finds, etc 58
XI. Discovery of the Dry Diggings and Visit to them 62
XII. Manner of Mining, my own Success, Finds, etc 67
XIII. Capetown 71
XIV. Port Elizabeth 77
XV. Ways to get to South Africa and the Mines from America. . 82
XVI. Delagoa Bay, Portuguese Settlement, and the Gold Mines. . . 85
XVII. Large Diamonds of the World and other Information 89
Map of South Africa (special.)
Capetown Frontispiece. *
Diamond Washing 26
Dry Sifter 57
The House in which Diamonds were Found 63
Sketch of my own Claim at the Dry Diggings 68
Port Elizabeth *a
A shilling (Is.) is a little less than 25 cents in gold.
One pound sterling (£1) is a little less than $5 ; but for ordinary
calculations it is best to consider Is. as 25 cents, £1 as $5, and 10s.
Outspanned means unyoked or unharnessed.
Inspan means to harness up, or yoke the cattle.
Distances are counted by hours — 6 miJes to an hour.
Treeing means moving on.
4 grains = 1 carat.
151£ carats — 1 ounce troy.
The exact weight troy is 3£ grains — 1 carat.
SOUTH AFJtICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
The diaraondiferous regions of South Africa embrace an
area of at least 10,000 square miles. They are situated be-
tween lat, 28° 30" south, and long. 24° 28" east (Greenwich).
The Vaal River runs north and south through the center of
this country, and most of the mining operations are carried
on upon its borders. The Orange River runs along the
southern part of the diamond district, and may be considered
the southern boundary of the diamondiferous country, although
a few diamonds have been found south of it in the Hopetown
district of the colony. The Vaal River is a beautiful stream,
lined nearly all its length with fine trees. The stream is 200
feet wide opposite the great camps, and for a mile it is deep
and smooth water; above and below are rapids with a fall of
about twenty feet, and then smooth, deep water again; it is
like this all up and down the river, the stretches of smooth
water hardly ever being more than a mile in length. During
the months of June, July, and August the river becomes very
low; but I have never heard of its becoming dry, as most of
the South African rivers do during these months. There is
plenty of grass for cattle— say a mile from the banks of the
river. The climate of the diamond regions is similar to that
of California, equable and extremely healthy. From March to
September not a drop of rain falls. The nights during this
period are quite cold; overcoats are in requisition from dawn
to nine o'clock, and at night double blankets are required to
insure a comfortable rest ; ice would sometimes form one-
quarter of an inch thick in the buckets left out at night with
water in them. In September the warm weather sets in, ac-
companied by frequent thunder-storms. A mild form of fever
12 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
is then prevalent (especially among those who do not take care
of themselves), but very seldom proves fatal. Considering the
number of people at the mines, and their manner of living in
tents and wagons, and off badly-cooked food, and the poor
sanitary measures enforced in camp, it is astonishing how
healthy the people are.* Now that the British Government
have taken charge, and sent an able magistrate (Mr. Camp-
bell) to preside over the district, better sanitary measures will
be enforced, and the healthiness of the camps will improve.
After crossing the Orange River and entering the diamond-
iferous regions, the appearance of the country changes very
perceptibly. Immense tracts or beds of w r ater-worn pebbles
of all colors are to be seen. The country is slightly undu-
lating table-land, 5,000 feet above the level of the sea, with
here and there a series of kopies (hills) that are covered with
immense bowlders of iron stone. Water is scarce at certain
seasons of the year. There are no rivers that contain w^ater
all the year round, excepting the Orange and Vaal. The
farmers have to build dams at convenient places, which are
filled during the rainy season, and the water lasts through the
dry. At several of the inland farms where diamonds have
been discovered, they have exhausted their supply of water
by washing, and will have to cease mining until the rainy
season sets in. Of course, this will be remedied by building
larger dams. Most of the diamonds are found on the rand or
spur of the kopies. The miners always look out for a " good
wash" or deposit of water-worn pebbles. Diamonds are not
found in all of these water-worn deposits, but they are never
found where there are no water-w^orn pebbles. There are
three different kinds of diamondiferous soil at Pniel. On our
claim the first deposit, about six inches deep, was of a blackish
color; the second, about five feet through, was of a reddish ;
* Certificate.— I have much pleasure in availing myself of the present opportu-
nity to certify, from personal experience, that in the latitude of the diamond fields,
phthisis and ordinary pulmonary affections are of very rare occurrence. Patients
whom we have sent there in the earlier stages of the ahove diseases are, to my own
knowledge, in the enjoyment of re-established health, and in others— the despair of
the physician— life has been prolonged for some years. The summer temperature
is high, but does not enervate. The winter months are bright, clear, and bracing,
affording a climate peculiarly adapted to patients troubled with disease of the lungs!
P. Ensor, Surgeon Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital.
Pobt Elizabeth, ^Zd August, 1870.
- ' "
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 13
and the last, eight feet, of a whitish color— pebbles all the
way down, showing that the whole deposit had been under
the action of water. At most of the other camps the pay-dirt
is not more than from six inches to three feet, while at Pniel
it is sometimes twenty-five feet. Under these deposits there
is a bed of yellowish clay, that hardens into rock as von go
down. No other gravel deposit has yet been discovered under
this rock, and, singular enough, no diamonds have been dis-
covered in the ravines, even those which bound the richest
kopies. It may be that the rains wash them to the river
direct. The river has not been worked yet in a proper man-
ner. Some tried to drag it, but never found any diamonds,
because, in the first place, the diamond is bound to work its
way to the very bottom among the interstices of rock ; and
in the second, the drags being flat, could not reach those de-
posits. The only way to get them out is to turn the river
into a flume or canal, and pump out the holes. This will re-
quire capital, and I have no doubt will pay a rich dividend to
any company that will undertake it. The diamond district is
claimed by several white governments and native chiefs.
That part which lies on the east bank of the Vaal River com-
prises part of the " Orange River Free State," a Dutch repub-
lic, settled by Dutch farmers who emigrated from the colony
at its occupation by the English. Bloemfontien, a pretty
place of about 1,000 inhabitants, is the capital. It is a well-
laid out town, containing some very substantially-built and
w^ell-stocked stores, a first-class hotel, and several well-built
churches. Here the President resides and the Legislature
meets. The President is elected for a term of years. The
present one (John Brand) is quite popular. He is very kind
and genial to strangers. The English language is spoken as
freely as the Dutch, and quite a number of Englishmen reside
there. The Orange River Free State has just been recog-
nized by the United States Government. Bloemfontien is
about 100 miles from Pniel. There are about a dozen other
towns within that distance of the mines situated in the Free
State, Transvaal Republic, and "The colony." According to
the Roman Dutch law, under which the constitution was
formed, the State has no right over the minerals, excepting
14 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
in Government lands; and when any of this land is sold, the
purchaser has the right to the minerals. They may, however,
alter this law, as far as the Government lands are concerned,
and charge a royalty or tax of say 10s. a month to each
miner who desires to work on Government lands. The dia-
mondiferous land of the Free State which has as yet been dis-
covered, is mostly owned by citizens who generally allow dig-
gers to work on their land, and charge them about 10s. per
month. These farms are generally from 6,000 to 18,000 acres
in size, and can be purchased for from £5,000 to £10,000.
Before diamonds were discovered upon them they could have
been purchased for less than £2,000 each. The west bank of
the Vaal River from the mouth of the Hart River is claimed
by the Chief Jautjie, the Chief Waterboer, and the Transvaal
Republic, another Dutch settlement of a later date than the
Orange Free State. The capital of this republic is Pretoria,
and the largest place is Potchefstrom, about 200 miles from
and north of Pniel, a town of about 1,000 white inhabitants.
The State is governed by a President and Legislature elected
by the people ; it has also been recognized by the United
States Government. They are trying to get a sea-port at
Ingack Island, Delagoa Bay, and will probably succeed.
Now all their importations have to come through " The
Colony," and pay colonial duty. Both the Free State and
Transvaal Republic are anxious for American emigration, and
large farms are offered to emigrants at a very low figure, and
on time to emigrants who have means to stock them. The
whole country consists of a vast undulating table-land, where
anything can be raised if dams are built to supply water.
The chief production of the country is wool. There are im-
mense herds of sheep grazing from one end of the country to
the other. Coffee, sugar, wheat, corn, and all kinds of fruit
and vegetables, are raised to a certain extent; but as there
are no rivers or railroads leading to the sea, it does not
pay to raise these articles for export. In time, when the
people or foreign capitalists can build a railroad, immense
exports of the above productions will be made from these
From the mouth of the Hart River, on the west bank of the
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 15
Vaal, to the Orange River, and down to its mouth, the country
is claimed by the Orange Free State and Jautjie. So far no
license has been paid by the miners, and they have come to
the conclusion that they never will pay any, unless forced to
do so by the British Government, which has just stepped in
and taken possession of the whole of the diamond district on
both sides of the Vaal, and sent a magistrate there to look
after things and stop the quarreling— a kind of way the
British lion has of settling things. It may be best, after all,
for the west bank diamond fields, as they were just on the
point of declaring a republic of their own, which would
have caused a bloody war, perhaps, of long duration, which
would have effectually stopped diamond mining for the time
being. A council was held a few months ago on the Klip
Drift or west side, at which they decided that the Transvaal
Republic owned that side of the river from the mouth of the
Hart River. At this council there were present President
Pretorius, of the Transvaal ; President Brand, of the Free
State; President Parker, who had been elected by* the
miners as President of the diamond district of the west
side ; Jautjie and Waterboer, two native chiefs who lived
upon the land. At the decision of the council, the Transvaal
Republic appointed a Mr. Owen as magistrate, and sent him
to the great camp, Klip Drift, where he issued a proclama-
tion and raised the Transvaal Hag. The miners, not liking
this arrangement, tore down the Hag, and putting Mr. Owen
into a boat, sent him across the river, and his tent after
him, and refused to allow him to return. They also refused
to recognize the Transvaal government authority over the
diamond district, and they deposed Mr. Parker, and elected a
Mr. Barker in his stead ; they also elected twelve members
for a council. Since then there has been constant quarreling
goino- on until Mr. Campbell's arrival, when he stopped all
further disputes by taking possession of and proclaiming
the territory as British. I think the British Government will
impose a slight tax only on miners, and at the same time
allow them to work wherever they like, excepting on settled
16 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
Dueing the year 1867, a trader was traveling in the Free
State, and, stopping at a farm near the Vaal River, he ob-
served a small boy playing with a peculiar-looking crystal.
He carefully examined it, and remarked to the parents that
he thought it was a diamond, and asked them what they
would take for it. They laughed at the idea of its being a
diamond, and told him he could have it for nothing. In
passing through several towns on his way to the coast, he
frequently showed it, and was laughed at when he mentioned
that he thought it was a diamond. He became so disgusted
that he was on the point of throwing it away, when he hap-
pened to show it to Dr. Atherstone, a scientific gentleman of
Grahamstown, in the colony. Dr. A. was struck with its
appearance, and immediately took its specific gravity, and,
testing it in other ways, proved beyond doubt that it
was a veritable diamond of 20 carats in weight. It was
sent to Capetown, and there purchased by the Governor
Sir Philip Wodehouse, for £500. This affair created some
excitement in the colony, but it soon died out.
About a year after this, a trader named Shalk Van
^iekerk purchased the "Star of South Africa," a beautiful
diamond of 83 carats, from a native doctor, in whose
possession it had been for several years, and who had
used it as a charm to cure diseases with among the na-
tives. He said that he had found it on the north bank of the
Orange River, about one hundred miles below the mouth of
the Vaal. Van Niekerk gave him five hundred sheep for it,
and taking it to Hopetown, sold it for £11,500 to the firm
of Lilienfeld Brothers, who sent it to Europe, where it re-
mained in the market in its rough state for some time, and no
offer being made for it, the owners had it cut in Amsterdam,
at their own risk. It turned out to be a beautiful first-water
brilliant of 40 carats, and was purchased by the celebrated
London firm of Hunt & Boskel. It is not generally known
what price was paid for it ; it is rumored from £6,500 to
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 17
£16,000. It is understood that II. & B. ask £25,000 for it
now. The finding of the "Star of South Africa" caused
great excitement in the colony, and a rush of traders took
place immediately, who managed to purchase from the natives
quite a lot of diamonds, among them the following : one of
47 carats was sent home by Messrs. Breda, Halket &> Co.,
Capetown ; a diamond of 30-J carats was found at Bloemhof,
on the banks of the Vaal River ; numerous other diamonds,
of 5, 7, 12, 10, 20, 25, 30 and 40 carats were found during the
next two years by natives, and all on the surface.
LIST OF DIAMONDS.
No. 1.— Found at the firm " De Kalk " division of Ilopetown, by a
child of Daniel Jacobs. Weight, 21 3-16th carats. Sold to the Govern-
ment. The child had been in possession of the gem for some time, and
she and some native children used it, with some other pretty stones, as
a plaything. Mr. Schalk Niekerk, when on a visit one day to this
placed was struck with the appearance of the stone. He got possession
of it. It was afterward sent to Dr. Atherstone, in Grahamstown.
The Doctor pronounced it to be a diamond of the first water. People,
both natives and Europeans, then commenced to search.
No. 2.— Was found soon afterward by Mr. Duvenhage on his father's
farm, " Paarde Kloof," along the Orange River, in the division of Hope-
town. Weight, 8 13-lGth carats. A beautiful stone, very regular in
shape. Purchased by the Governor.
No. 3.— Found by a native along the Vaal River. Weight, 4 7-lGth
carats. Very eccentric shape, but very clear. Purchased by Mr. John
Cruikshanks, who sent it to his father in Scotland.
No. 4.— Found by Mr. Hans Bezuidenhout, on Mr. Cloete's farm,
"Mark's Drift," along the Orange River, division of Ilopetown.
Weight, H carats, greenish color, defective in shape, and evidenUy
broken. Presented to Mr. Chalmers by Mr. Bezuidenhout,
No. 5.— Found by Mr. Jacob Cloele, on a piece of Government
ground along the Orange River, division of Ilopetown. Weight, 3
4-16th carats, regular in shape and very brilliant. Has a very small
black spot. Purchased by Mr. Lilienfeld, and sent by him to his
friends in England.
No. 0.— Found by a Hottentot servant of Mr. Jan Duvenhage, on his
master's farm, "Paarde Kloof" (same farm where No. 2 was found).
Weight, 3 5-lGth carats. Very regular in shape, and of first water.
Purchased by the Governor.
No. 7.— Found by a Griqua near the Vaal River. Weight, 15£ carats.
Purchased from the Griqua by Mr. Radloff, and sold by Mr. Radloff to
No. 8.— Found by a Griqua along the Vaal River, near Campbell, in
18 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
July, 1868. Weight, 12 1 carats. Defective in shape, one end very
much' discolored and rather flat, the other end brilliant and like the
point oi a conical bullet. Purchased from the Griqua by Mr. Chap-
man, who has sent it home. This is the diamond found when Mr.
Gregory was here.
No. 9. — Found by a Griqua in Waterboer's country, in August, 1808.
Weight, 2 carats. First water. Regular shape. Purchased by Mr.
No. 10.— Found by a Griqua near the junction of the Yaal and Riet
Rivers, in September, 1868. Weight, 13 carats. Triangular shape.
Color like polished steel. Purchased from the Griqua by Messrs.
Wykeham & Co., and afterward sold by them to Mr. Maurice Joseph,
No. 11.— Found by a Bechuana beyond the Vaal River, in October,
1808. Weight, 9 carats. A very brilliant diamond, particularly well
shaped. Purchased by the Governor.
No. 12.— Found by a native along the Yaal River, in October, 1808.
Weight, carats. Straw-colored. Defective in shape.
No. 13.— Found by a Bechuana along the Riet River, in October,
1808. Weight, 3 carats. Milky color. Has a small hole on one of
No. 14.— Brought in by a trader, who received it from a native
beyond the Orange River, in October, 1808. Weight, 4 carats. Yery
regular in shape, and particularly sharp-pointed ; very brilliant ; has
a small yellow spot on one of the facets, which gives the gem rather
a yellow 7 color.
No. 15. — Brought in by the same trader, in October, 1808. Weight,
H carats. (Nos. 14 and 15 were forwarded to Port Elizabeth, to be
disposed of there.)
No. 16.— Found along the Vaal River, in November, 1808, by a
native. Weight, about 2 carats. Defective in shape, and rather dis-
colored. Purchased by Mr. Ilond.
No. 17.— Found by a Bechuana beyond the Yaal River, in Novem-
ber, 1808. Weight, 4 carats. Yery perfect in shape and very brilliant.
This gem is still in the hands oi" the Hon. R. Southey, Colonial Sec-
retary, and is still for disposal.
No. 18.— Found by Mr. David Bebell in the same locality where No.
11 was found. Weight, 9 carats. Yery pure and very regular in
shape, but it has a very large hole in it. Purchased by Mr. L. Lilien-
feld. Found in December, 1808.
No. 19.— Found on the farm " Roode Kop," along the Orange River,
in the division of llopetown, in December, 1808. Weight, 1| carats!
Yery inferior; discolored. Is now in possession of Mr. Lilienfeld.
No. 20.— Found by a Griqua along the Yaal River, and sold by him
to Mr. Bebell, who sold it to Mr. Lilienfeld. Weight, 14 carats. Has
several black spots, otherwise it would be a very brilliant stone.
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 19
Nos. 11 and 17 are the best diamonds that have yet been found;
the most brilliant and regular in shape.
Other diamonds have been found besides these twenty, but I have
only kept particulars of those which have passed through my hands.
The foregoing information, therefore, can be depended upon.
W. 13. Chalmers, C. C. and 11. M.
Hopbtown, 20M January, 1801).
These natives would form themselves into long lines, joined
hand in hand, and walk slowly over the ground and look for
diamonds, especially after rain ; and if they found one they
would take it to a trader, and otter it to him at a most ex-
orbitant price. If the trader were to make an offer he would
never get the diamond, but by leaving the native to make
the offer, he would gradually fall about 1,000 per cent, from
his former demand. I have known a native ask £2,500 for a
diamond that was finally purchased from him for £150, and
that was paid in goods, and took three days to elose the
bargain. The natives will generally take blankets, beads,
oxen, wagons, and sheep for their diamonds. They have
been aware of the weight and water of diamonds, but not of
their value. A company was formed in the colony who sent
an agent up to the chief of the supposed diamond district,
and obtained a concession of all the diamond fields on the
west bank of the Vaal. They made no effort to find the
deposits themselves, but put the whole district up for sale in
Europe. This the company did not succeed in doing, and
after the rush, finding that they could not hold the ground,
they gave up the seheme as a bad job. The " Star of South
Africa" was supposed to have been found on their posses-
sions, and they tried through the colonial court to get pos-
V* session of it, but failed in doing so, and had to pay costs
It was not until 1870 that any one thought of organizing
a prospecting company wdio would devote their time and
energies to the exclusive hunting of the regular diamond de-
posits, and mining properly for them. King William's 1 own,
a place of considerable importance in the colony, organized a
prospecting company and sent it to the Vaal, under the super-
intendence of Mr. Mcintosh. This company consisted of
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
eight partners, four of whom furnished the money to outfit
the expedition, and the other four were to do the prospecting
and mining. At the same time, another similarly organized
company started from Natal, under Captain Rolliston.
These two parties met at Hebron, and were a little jealous of
each other at first, but becoming better acquainted, this soor
disappeared, and they commenced to prospect together 01
the west bank of the Vaal. Now, the natives were rathe
chary of letting white men prospect on their grounds. The
seemed aware that, in case of the regular diamond deposit
being discovered, a great rush would be made and their
lands taken from them. So they would not allow these
parties to touch the ground with pick or shovel. After pros-
pecting, with sharp sticks only, for three months up and
down the Yaal, at places where the natives had found
diamonds on the surface, the two companies parted, Hous-
ton's remaining at Hebron, and Mcintosh's following the west
bank of the Yaal toward its mouth. They parted with the
understanding that in case one party should discover a de-
posit, they should let the other know immediately, but se-
cretly. It was a month after this that the Mcintosh party
were at Klip Drift, tired and disheartened, and thinking of
giving it up, when a native was induced to inform them
where he had found a diamond that he had in his possession.
He took them half a mile from the drift or ford, to what is
now known as the " Old Kopie," and pointed out the spot
to them. They were not allowed to put a pick in the earth ;
but Mcintosh, in turning over the soil at the roots of a thorn
tree, discovered a half carat diamond. The party then de-
termined to send for the Natal party, and to go to work on
the kopie with pick and shovel, in spite of the natives. The
kopie was about one thousand yards from the river bank ;
and upon the arrival of the Natal party they dug out a
load, carted it down to the river, and washed it out with an
Australian cradle, finding several diamonds therein. They
must have lost a great many from the rudeness of their ma-
chinery. They worked on every day after this, in spite of
the continued protests of the natives, and with uniform suc-
cess. The diamondiferous soil lay in a triangular-shaped
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 21
space about sixty yards in circumference, two sides bounded
by a reef of amgdoline or pudding-stone, and the other by
the plain. The rich soil was from six inches to three feet in
depth. The latter were small basins or pockets. The Mc-
intosh party worked up the left angle or reef, and the Natal
party the right angle or reef. While piling up their " cas-
calho " one day, preparatory to hauling it to the river, a nine
carat diamond made its appearance, which a native who was
standing by immediately seized, and was making off with it
when he was caught and compelled to give it up. He made
a great disturbance about this, and complained to the chief,
who, however, sustained the white men after hearing their
Now r , these two parties had been working a month without
letting any one know of their success, always asserting that
they found no diamonds ; but their constant labor had created
suspicion, and several parties, mostly traders, hung around
their camp watching them. One day, while Captain Rolliston
was clumping a load of " cascalho " at the washing place, a
five carat diamond rolled in sight of one of these outsiders,
who immediately seized it and claimed it, in spite of Captain
Rolliston having dug and hauled it to the river. lie seized
it on the grounds that as Captain Rolliston had said that
they had found no diamonds, and he had found this one, he
was consequently entitled to it ; and Captain Rolliston had to
prepare for a tight before he would give it up. This dis-
covery caused great excitement, and all the traders immedi-
ately took up claims on the Old Kopie. In one month the
Mcintosh party took out 120 diamonds, valued at £6,000,
the largest a beautiful thirty carat, another nine carat, and
the balance from six carats down to a quarter of a carat.
The Natal party took out 52 diamonds, valued at £40,000.
They were mostly large-sized diamonds, among them a forty
carat, valued at £9,000. Another party took out 50 dia-
monds, but I do not know the value of them. Other parties
also did very well. There were 300 diamonds taken from
this small triangle in less than two months, that were valued
at over £80,000.
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
About this time a trader, named Stafford Parker, became
aware of these finds, and immediately wrote letters to that
effect to different papers in the colony, but they were not be-
lieved. At last a young man, named Slater, wrote a letter to
his father at Port Elizabeth, confirming Parker's statements,
and urging his friends to come to the fields immediately. The
consequence was, that a rush was made from all parts of the
" Colony," " Free State," and " Transvaal Republic." Every
paper from every town and village was teeming with the
names of people Avho had gone and were going to the diamond
fields, in all conceivable kinds of convevances. Some went
with Scotch carts drawn by four oxen, and laden with cradles,
provisions, and mining tools, and the owners walking (in some
cases) 500 miles. Some started without any outfit or con-
veyance whatever, and tramped over 600 miles, sleeping in
the Veldt, with the broad canopy of heaven for their shelter,
begging their food from the wayside farms, and in one
case arriving at the diamond fields, and making a for-
tune in a week. A Dutch boer (farmer) would leave his
farm in the care of the servants, inspanned sixteen oxen to
his ponderous African wagon, put his vrow, kinders, a few
household gods and provisions into it, not forgetting an im-
mense supply of coffee (without which no South African boer
ever travels), and treked to the diamond fields, imagining that
he and his family would spend a few weeks pic-nicking, and
employ their leisure hours picking up diamonds by the bands-
ful, and return home and lay in a fresh supply of coffee. In
some instances, they were rewarded with a fortune ; in a great
many other instances, finding that diamond mining meant
hard labor from early morn " till dewy eve ;" and no Dutch-
man likes hard labor. They meandered round for a few days,
looking at the hard workers with amazement, became disgust-
ed with Englishmen who would work, resolved not to disgrace
themselves by doing likewise for any amount of money^ and
returned home, vrow, kinders, household gods and all, and re-
sumed their pipes and coffee, wiser, but I cannot say better
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
men. Now, I don't mean to say all Dutchmen are like that,
but the majority are. I have known some who have brought
their families to the mines, and a few servants, and have
worked as hard as any Englishman ; one family, in particu-
lar, Waldecks, from the "Free State," that made a fortune
at Pniel. lie and his servants would do the differing and
washing, and his wife and children would sort out the washed
gravel, and pick out the diamonds.
All kinds of people went to the mines; among them British
officers, stationed in the colony, who had never handled any-
thing heavier than a sword on parade day, obtained leave of
absence for a few months, went to the mines, and worked like
navvies, and, in several eases, made fortunes. Merchants,
clerks, mechanics, laborers, and chronic loafers even, could
not resist the fascination of diamond digging. Some, though,
worked for months, and never found a single diamond, having
a twenty foot claim surrounded by four other twenty foot
claims, every one of which was rich in the gems but his own.
On my way to the diamond fields, I have met Dutchmen re-
turning from there, who swore that it was all a humbug, and
that there were no diamonds to be found, when an hour be-
fore, I had met a fortunate individual who had shown me a
dozen diamonds that he had dugout himself, and who, in the
first flush of fortune, was rushing home to spend it, and return
again to the fields, where, perhaps, he would be doomed to
Most of the diggers went direct to Klip Drift and the Old
Kopie, taking up claims adjacent to the celebrated triangle.
Thiskopie was soon all taken, aid then further arrivals tried
the next kopie down the river, called the Second, or Town
Kopie. r l nis was soon taken up in claims, and then the next
arrivals moved farther down the river to the Third, or Coles-
burg Kopie, called so on account of a Colesburg party dis-
covering diamonds upon it. These three kopies, or hills, are
about two miles long from the Drift where the wagons ford
the river to the bottom of the Colesburg Kopie. No dia-
monds were found immediately below this last kopie. The
river front of these kopies is deep and still water, having rap-
ids above and below. The river was crossed by yawl boats
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
opposite the great camp, half a dozen of which were running,
and charging Qcl a passenger. These two miles of kopies
were called Klip Drift, or Koeky Ford, from the name of the
ford that the miners crossed the Vaal by. The chief camp
was pitched on the Second, or Middle Kopie, between the
river and the mines, the latter generally being about 500 yards
from the river, and on the top of the kopies that had an ave-
rage elevation of 100 feet above the river. The tops of these
kopies were flat, and covered with a deposit of water-worn
gravel or pebbles— often by large bowlders and rough rocks,
that had to be removed with a crowbar. No houses were
built at this time, the miners living in tents and wagons only.
A kind of provisional government was now instituted for
the purpose of keeping order in the camp. The miners held
a meeting, and elected four members of council and a presi-
dent. Stafford Parker was elected president ; rules and reg-
ulations were drawn up, and all newcomers were compelled
to sio-n them, as well as those who had been there from the
first. There were two sets : one for mining, and the other for
defense. These rules are given in another page.
Immediately opposite the Town Kopie, on the Free State
side, and on the Fniel mission estate, a Dutchman, who had
encamped temporarily, found a half carat diamond on the sur-
face, close to his wa^on. This side of the Vaal, for fifteen
miles up and down the river, is owned by the Berlin mission-
ary station, called Pniel, some three miles up the river, under
the charge of the Rev. Mr. Kallenburg. The Dutchman re-
ported this find to Mr. Kallenburg, and requested permission
to mine there. This was granted, with the proviso that a
quarter of the value of all finds should be handed over to Mr.
K. After a while, other Dutchmen, getting wind of this, ob-
tained permission also. The missionary would only let those
with whom he was acquainted, or who were well vouched for,
mine on the estate ; but in less than a month, he had 300 fam-
ilies, mostly Dutch, working opposite the great camp. He
derived a revenue of at least £1,000 per month.
A great many new arrivals, and parties from the Klip Drift
side, applied for permission to mine on the estate, and were
refused ; but the missionary, finding that parties w
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
over m the night— cradles, tools, and all— and taking up
claims, working anyhow, and not paying one-quarter of the
finds either, called a council of Berlin missionaries, who con-
cluded to let any one who could get a voucher from Stafford
Parker, President of the Vigilance Committee of Klip Drift,
mine on the estate. The consequence was, a rush from the
Klip Drift side of at least 500 men, who soon took up every
available claim. The missionaries appointed a committee to
look after their interests. They drafted the following rules :
" That all applicants should sign before being allowed to mine on
" A claim should consist of thirty feet square (to be given out by one
of the committee) for each cradle.
" Whenever a diamond is found by a miner, it must be reported at the
committee tent within twenty-four hours. These to be weighed.
" If the miner sells the diamond, he must pay the missionaries' agent
one-quarter of the proceeds. If he does not sell it, the committee will
appraise it, and the miner pay as above."
The above are the most important resolutions. There were
several others of minor importance. It was soon found out that
not one-half of the miners reported their finds, and that there
was a great anxiety for a reduction of the tax ; so at another
meeting it was resolved to impose a tax of 10s. a month on
every washing machine, and take off the one quarter tax on
the finds. This gave better satisfaction to the miners, and a
sure income to the society. At present there must be over
1,000 cradles at work on the Pnicl estate, yielding the mis-
sionary society a revenue of £2,500 a month. As in other
mineral countries, new places, a few miles off, were discover,
ed, and rushes from both camps made to them. These places
generally proved to be of small extent, and those parties
which first arrived took up all the good claims, while hum
dreds returned to their old camp disappointed, and probably
finding the claim they had deserted had been taken by a new-
comer. Still a great many remained at such places as Gono-
Gong, Good Hope, Bad Hope, Lucas Kopie, ^Vebster , s Ko-
pie, and Sifonel, which places extended some twenty miles
down the river and up the river, as far as Hebron. New places
are still being constantly found, and the " case^lho " deposits
extend on a very large extent of country.
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 27
I will now give a synopsis of my own diary to show a
miner's every-day life, traveling and mining.
Business had called me to Colesburg, a frontier town of the
colony ; and, as I had a few months to spare, I concluded to
devote it to diamond mining, and give it a practical trial, as
I had been in California, and had done all kinds of gold min-
ing and working. I invented a machine for diamond washing,
somewhat similar to a longtom and cradle combined, which,
after a trial at the mines, and a few alterations, proved to be
quite a success. I had this machine made at Colesburg, put
together with screws, and taken apart for easy transport.
There is an engraving of it on page 26.
Colesburg, June 29th, 1870.— Everything ready to start
for the diamond fields, 170 miles in aN. W. direction. There
are three partners in the concern : Messrs. llawstorne, Plew-
man, and myself. Messrs. R. and P. are merchants at Coles-
burg. We take two colored boys with us. We have sent on a
Scotch cart, drawn by four oxen, in charge of two other boys.
This cart contains our washing machine, pump, hose, and min-
ing tools. We expect to come up with them about half way
to the fields.
Rawstorne and I travel in a six-mule spring wagon, which
will also contain our provisions, carpenter's tools, bedding and
clothing ; we have very few of the latter, but they are sub-
stantial! ' We believe in traveling light, and leaving our
« store " clothes at home. We hired the wagon and mules
for three months. The balance of our outfit, including the
Scotch cart and four oxen, cost us £100. Plewman remains
in Colesburg to settle some business, and then follows in his
30TH.— Some of the citizens of Colesburg gave us a din-
ner in honor of our being the Colesburg pioneers to the dia-
mond fields. James Hennessy's and Mad. Cliquot's names
were frequently heard at the table, and they were passed
&8 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
round till some of the party couldn't rest. We managed to
escape at 3 p.m., and started off in fine style, with three
cheers from our late hosts, and accompanied by several car-
riage loads of ladies and gentlemen for some miles on the
road. Outspanned (unhitched) for the night at a farm nine
miles from Colesburg, and slept for the first time in our
July 1st.— Arose at daylight; had coffee, inspanned, or
hitched up, and made the Orange River Drift at Rosse's Ferry.
As the river was too high to cross the drift, we crossed on the
ferry, and entered the Orange River Free State, a young Re-
public. Twenty years ago, if a traveler arrived in London,
who had crossed the Orange River of South Africa, he was
lionized, and made an honorary member of the Traveler's
Club. It is becoming common in these days, and the Zam-
besi, 1,000 miles further north, is now the line of interest. At
?. p.m., we arrived at Phillapolis, a village of 500 inhabitants,
most of whom had gone, or were preparing to go to the dia-
mond fields. We hear very encouraging news here. After
dinner we treked (moved on), passing through an immense
swarm of locusts, which come up against your face with a
thump that startles you. We made twelve miles farther, and
outspanned for the night.
2d.— Inspanned at daylight again, and made ten miles ; had
breakfast, and made Fauresmith, a town of about 1,000 in-
habitants, at 3 p.m. Outspanned and had dinner just upon
the outskirts of the town. A large number of the inhabit-
ants had gone to the diamond fields. All the carpenters'
shops were busy making cradles for washing the "cascalho."
Made twelve miles more, and camped at Schietmakaar for
the night. Since we have crossed the Orange River, the
appearance of the country has changed; we now see im-
mense tracts of slightly undulating and gravelly ground be-
tween ridges of bowlder-crowned kopies or hills. We are now
5,000 feet above the level of the sea. The climate is delight-
ful; coiv. enough at night to require blankets, and just warm
enough during the day to dispense with coats. No rain at
this season of the year. The farmers build dams at conve-
nient places on their farms (generally on the side of a rise)
■ — ....■■III. .
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 29
in which water enough is caught from the winter storms to
last through the dry season. We had to pay Is. at some farms
to be allowed to water our stock at the dams.
3d. — Made a farm at 9 a.m., ten miles from where we were
last night. This farm is situated on the licit River. Saw a
large number of bucks (springbok), but could not get within
range, as we had no riding-horse, and the ground was not
rugged enough to stalk them. At 8 p.m., having followed
the licit River, we crossed it, and outspanncd ; found our cart
and its contents, and another ox wagon of diamond seekers.
4tii. — Arrived at 10 a.m. at Jacobsdahl, the last town on the
route to the diamond fields, and about forty miles from them.
This place has about 500 inhabitants. There are several lar^e
stores here ; one kept by Isaac Sonnenberg, who has lived a
great deal in America ; he has a fine stock of provisions and
mining tools. To-day, being the anniversary of American
Independence, we celebrated it by firing a salute of sixteen
shots in ten seconds from a " Winchester Repeater," which
gathered the Dutch around us in swarms. We then spent an
hour sampling champagne. Inspanned and treked. Before
leaving, Mr. Sonnenberg showed me four diamonds, one of
twenty-six carats, and three of one carat each ; he values the
twenty-six carat one at £2,000. After crossing the Modder
River, we made I)u Forts Farm, and outspanncd for the night.
Diamonds have been picked up on the surface at this farm.
The family will not, however, allow any one to work on it
yet, chiefly on account of the scarcity of water.
5th. — Arrived at Pniel Mission Station at 12 noon. Hear-
ing that the mining on this side of the river is rather better
than that on the other side, we asked permission of Mr. Kal-
lcnburgh, the missionary, to mine on the estate. lie declined
to grant it till after a contemplated meeting of the Berlin
missionaries in the Free State, which would take place next
month. We then went to Klip Drift, three miles further down
the river; outspanncd on an island in the middle of the Drift,
and while the boys were cooking dinner, took a walk down
the Pniel side of the river, where we found about fifty men,
women, and children working — the men digging and washing
the women and children sorting the washed pebbles. The
30 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
scene was intensely exciting, and we wanted to pitch in im-
mediately, and take a claim. We were shown diamonds right
and left, and observed with what ease a diamond could be
distinguished from the pebbles from which it is taken. The
mining was carried on within fifty yards of the river, on the
top of a rand or spur of a large kopie. This spur runs down
the river, and parallel with it. After digging out the soil, it is
carted down, and dumped on the bank, washed in a cradle,
and emptied on a table; where the sorters sit all day picking
out the precious gems. The sensation of picking out a dia-
/ mond must be exquisite to the finder, if it has such an effect
as it had on me when, looking on, I saw one found. The
scene is very picturesque and refreshing to us who have not
seen a tree or (excepting the Orange and Modder) a river
with water in it since we left Colesburg. The great camp of
Klip Drift is just opposite, and the hills are covered with
miners, and the banks of the river with washers. The scene
is so intensely exciting to us, we want to begin at once, and
feel as if we can hirdly wait till morning. I wonder what
my dreams w r ill be about to-night ; nothing but diamonds,
diamonds, diamonds, I expect, and some very extensive ones,
too, no doubt. Met Mr. Green, late civil commissioner of
Colesburg, who has obtained permission from Mr. Kallenburg
to mine on the estate. He has two very large claims, and he
showed us five diamonds that he had already taken out, rang-
ing from \ to 5| carats. The soil is of a reddish color, and
the miners only go down about six inches or a foot. (Since
the above date they have gone down over twenty feet, finding
diamonds all the way). The miners are chiefly Dutch ; very
few Englishmen. On this side they are encamped under the
trees between their mine and washing place. While we were
looking on, a Dutchman found a 15^ carat diamond, worth
£1,000, while digging, and without washing; he yelled out
and howled around there like a crazy man, and everybody
left their work, and made a rush to see it. He won't sleep any
to-night. I expect he'll invest in a bag of coffee to-morrow.
Returning to our wagon, we had an excited dinner, with our
eyes opened as big as saucers, looking between every bite for
diamonds in the river sand. I see that I am bound to get
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 31
round-shouldered if I remain at the mines long. Every fel-
low you meet is looking down, as if he had stolen something
from you. He is only looking for diamonds. He wears out
the toes of his boots in an incredibly short space of time,
kicking over all the stones he comes across as he goes from
his mine to his washing or meals. When we arrived at
headquarters at Klip Drift (the water at the ford was up to
our wagon bed, and quite swift), we met Header's party from
Philipstown, near Colesburg. (They are friends of Raw-
storne's). They had found an eighteen carat diamond the
day before, and Morritz linger, the diamond merchant, who
has just arrived from Europe, offered them £550 for it, but
they refused, and one of the party took it to Bloemfontien,
where he expects to get £600 foi* it. I saw Mr. Unger pur-
chase two diamonds to-day ; one was 6 T \ , and the other 5 T 5 g-
carats ; he paid £105 for them.
July 6th. — Went to the top of the Colesburg or third
kopie, and took a claim of twenty feet square, being for-
tunate in finding one just in the middle of the crowd, which
seemed to have been overlooked, and around all sides of
which diamonds had been found. We then took two more
claims upon the outskirts of the hill, and put up beacons on
them. There are about fifty claims taken up on this kopie.
We went to the river and found a place for our cradle about
500 yards below our mines. We then inspanned and treked
to the washing place, where we pitched our tent. After
luncheon we went to work with axe, pick and shovel, and
cleared and cut a place for our cradle and " cascalho." The
underbrush was very thick. We set our sorting-table under
the shade of a large willow tree. At ni<>;ht our hands were
full of blisters and thorns. Went up to headquarters, where
we signed the rules, mining and defensive, paying 2s. 6 d. for
each privilege. This tax is imposed for the purpose of
keeping the drift in good order, and paying the expenses of
32 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
the committee. The miners are a peaceable body of men, a .
little gambling and drinking going on, and once in a while a ^
fist fight ; but no shooting or cutting has occurred as yet.
Called upon Mr. linger, the diamond merchant, who came
out from England at the same time that I did. He showed
me more than one hundred diamonds that he had purchased.
He had just sealed up a larger quantity that he was sending
to Port Elizabeth and Europe. He will leave soon for Coles-
burg to get more money, having spent £10,000 in diamonds
in less than a month. He tells me that this is the richest
diamond country in the world, and that he has seen some
immense ones since his arrival. He says that about twenty-
five diamonds a day are being found on each side of the
river. The majority of diamonds on this side are large, from
Hve to forty carats ; but on the other side they are smaller,
but more plentiful on each claim. There are some parties on
this side who have been working for weeks and have not
found a single diamond ; but they are sticking to it, and will,
no doubt, eventually be rewarded.
7th. — At sunrise we had coffee, and went up to the claims
and marked off the boundary with large stones, increasing
the blisters on our hands. Breakfast at 9 a.m. As we were
expecting our cart, we went up to meet it. Stopped at At-
well's store, a large tent containing an extensive stock of
goods; purchased six feet of one-inch lumber, at Is. per foot;
also some butter at 2 s. 6d. per lb. Met Mr. King, a member
of the Colonial Parliament, who had just arrived. He had
picked up a sack of potatoes that we had dropped on the
road some miles back ; he divided it with us. Returned to
camp without seeing the cart. Invented and made a dry
sifter to use at the mine. This sieve has been extensively
copied at the mines, and hundreds are to be seen there ; it
lias been christened by the miners the "Yankee Baby."
Meader picked up two more diamonds to-day out of his
claim, worth about £10. A Dutchman picked up a seven
and a half carat diamond from his claim next to ours ; it is
worth £120. Met Messrs. Dees and Lamb, of Natal. Lamb
is a member of Kolliston's party, who made such a rich haul
from the old kopie.
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 33
8th. — At daylight wont to the claim and dug a hole two
feet deep and three by six feet in width and breadth. Struck
the bed rock. Weather so cold that we had to work with
our gloves and pea-jackets on until we got warmed up. The
soil is reddish, and full of round water worn pebbles of all
colors, some very pretty, such as I have seen in cheap jewelry
at home. We dug out and sifted several loads of " eascalho."
Saw our cart coming over the hill and conducted it to camp.
After breakfast we unloaded it, and fixed up our " Tom" and
pump for washing next day. Went up to headquarters.
Meader had picked up a four carat diamond to-day ; it was
only worth about £40, on account of there being two black
sj^ots in it. His claim is on the second kopie. A two carat
diamond was found next to our claim to-day.
9th. — At daylight we took two of our boys and dug out
five loads of "eascalho," and then went to another of our
claims and dug out two cart loads to secure it. The mining
law requires that a claim must be worked at least every three
days. Each partner is entitled to a twenty-foot claim, and
we have taken three at different localities. We then hauled
two cart-loads of sifted " eascalho " to our washing place, and
commenced our first washing. Found that our pump would
not throw enough water, and consequently the " Tom " prin-
ciple was a failure. So we altered it into a cradle by cutting
off the lower part and putting rockers on it. We put the
dirt in at the top of the twelve-foot sluice, and let the wa-
ter wash it down into the rocker. By this time it is quite
loosened, and passes through the different sieves quickly with
the assistance of a little rocking. We had to take out the
perforated zinc and replace it with wire, as there were not
sufficient holes in the zinc, consequently it soon choked up.
The upper sieve has half-inch holes, sheet iron ; the middle
sieve is one eighth of an inch, wire mesh ; the bottom is one
sixteenth, wire mesh. No stone of any value will pass
through this. Several more diamonds found near our claim
10th, Sunday. — All mining ceased to-day. All the stores
and saloons are closed, and Divine service is being held in the
committee tent. The Rev. Mr. Wills, of the Church of Eng-
34 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
land (from Potchefstrom, Transvaal Republic), officiating. It
was well attended. After the service, the mail arrived from
Jacobsdahl and the Colony. It was brought from Jacobs-
dahl by private hands, and a sixpence extra was charged on
each letter, and two pence on each newspaper. The mail
left at 2 p.m. for Jacobsdahl, so as to arrive in time to catch
the colonial post. I met Mr. Mcintosh, of the King Wil-
liam's Town party. He showed me a box of ninety odd dia-
monds, ranging from half a carat to thirty carats in size.
The thirty carat one is first water, and nearly round. A
nine carat diamond in the lot is a perfect octohedron, and of
the first water. He says that the thirty carat is worth
£3,500, and the nine carat one about £300. The whole lot
is valued at £6,000. Spent the afternoon in wandering
around the kopies and river bank, examining the mines and
washing machines. Of the latter there are a great variety,
some being made of old gin cases set on rockers. Had a
square meal to-day.
11th. — Hauled down six cart loads of dirt to-oTay, and
washed out part of it. Nary diamond. A few were taken
out of our kopie to-day by our neighbor. Twenty-five dia-
monds were taken out of the claims on the Pniel side to-day,
just opposite to us.
12th. — Mr. Plewman having arrived, lie and I went on a
prospecting trip for a new claim, leaving Rawstorne and the
boys to try their luck at the old claims. We went to the
rear of the old kopie, to a native kraal, or village, and Mr.
Plewman persuaded one of the natives to show us some spot
where diamonds had been found on the surface by his tribe.
He volunteered to do so if we would give him 1,9., which we
did, and he took us about half a mile further inland, and
showing us a gravelly spot, said that a great many diamonds
had been picked up there ; so we beaconed off a claim and
returned to camp, where we found that Rawstorne had
washed out four loads without success. JVb diamonds. A
twenty-six carat diamond was found on the second kopie
to-day. Quite a large addition to the population during the
13th. — Rawstorne and two of the boys went over to our
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 35
new claim ; it is two miles ofl^ Dug out and hauled down
two loads to the river ; washed it out, but found no dia-
monds. We then washed out two loads from our first claim,
and found one diamond worth £8. We then all took a
drink and had a square meal served up. A thirteen carat
diamond was found on our kopie to-day, and a sixteen carat
one on the second kopie, besides several small ones,
Twenty-five diamonds found on the Pniel side to-day. Dr.
Shaw, a guest of ours, and a geologist, from Colesburg, who
is here taking notes, informed me that the Dutch are sell in £
their diamonds very cheap on the Pniel side ; so I gave him
£20 to invest in small diamonds for me.
14th. — Met Mr. Marshal, of Natal gold notoriety. lie
lias just arrived with a large party who left Natal a month
airo. They came in ox wagons 450 miles. While washing
to-day, Mr. Hamilton, a photographer from Craddock, in the
Colony, came down with his apparatus and took a picture of
our party, machines, niggers, and all. We ordered a lot of
them, lie has just taken a panoramic view of both sides of
the river. A Mr. Proctor found a twenty-nine carat diamond
to-day on the second kopie ; it is worth £2,000. They are
still finding a number of small ones on the Pniel side.
15th. — Washing and mining all day. JYo diamonds. A
Dutchman named Waldeck took out a seventeen carat dia-
mond to-day from his claim on the Pniel side. It is of a yel-
lowish color. He asks £800 for it. Mr. Proctor took out
another diamond to-day from the second kopie ; it weighs five
carats. Dr. Shaw purchased a beautiful half-carat diamond
for me to-day for £3. linger says he will try and get me a
claim from the missionary (on the Pniel side), who is a
countryman of his.
36 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
July 16th. — Great excitement at headquarters to-day. Two
young men who have lately arrived from London, named
Webb and Pasno, the latter the son of a London diamond
merchant, have just arrived from the Transvaal Republic,
where they had obtained a concession of the diamond fields
for thirty years from the President of that Republic, who
claims this part of the country as belonging to the Transvaal.
These young men have come down to inform the miners that
they will be charged a tax of 10s. a month for the privilege of
mining. The consequence is, that a meeting has been called
b}^the President of the Council, Stafford Parker. About 500
miners responded. The President communicated the above
intelligence to them, and asked them what they intended to
do ? They replied that " they were not going to pay one
penny to any one for the privilege of mining ; that they were
not going to recognize the authority of the Transvaal Repub-
lic over the mines ; and that, if Messrs. Pasno and Webb did
not sign the rules, and recognize the president and council of
the mines, they would put them through the river." Messrs.
Pasno and Webb signed the rules. At the close of the meet-
ing, a deputation of citizens from the Transvaal read a protest,
signed by a large number of citizens of the Transvaal, against
their President conceding the ground to any company what-
17th. — Dr. Shaw purchased six diamonds for me at Pniel.
One of the Mcintosh party took me to the old kopie, and
gave me the history of the first diamond discovery, and the
working of the celebrated triangle (as described in Chapter
19th. — Mr. Plowman has just returned from Hebron, twenty
miles up the river. There he met a Mr. Robinson, a trader,
who showed him ninety diamonds, chiefly large ones (one of
forty carats), that he had purchased from the natives, who
had picked them up from the surface in that neighborhood.
There are about 100 miners working there now.
■■ ■ -:?■■ • . *- .■: I — - ■■■■■■■ ~tr—
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 37
20tii. — A 69-J- carat diamond was found to-day next to
Proctor's claim, on the second kopie. It is a miserable
specimen, fit for nothing but boart. They ask £400 for it ; it
will not fetch more than £100 in Europe. Since writing the
above, I learn that this diamond is an old stager that hag
been to Capetown, and sent back here for a soft purchaser.
Fifteen diamonds have been picked up near Proctor's claim
within the last three days. Another seventeen carat diamond
found on the Pniel side to-day.
2 1st. — Captain Gordon, late of Her Majesty's Army, found
three diamonds to-day at his claim at Pniel; one is a beauty
of two carats.
22d. — Dug down into the bed of a ravine that takes off the
debris of the old kopie, just under the rich triangle. The
bed rock or clay was soon reached, but the farther we went
into this yellow clay the harder it became, until at three feet
it was hard as rock. We hauled several loads of it to our
washing place, and after puddling the clay, succeeded in
washing it, but found no diamonds. Now, the washing from
this rich triangle must have passed into this ravine, but still
no diamonds have ever been found in it. The only way in
which I can account for it is, that the deposit must have been
but recently uncovered, and no diamonds have been washed
from it by nature ; or the rains, being so very heavy, have car-
ried the diamonds that may have been washed out clear
through the ravine to the Vaal River, about 1,000 yards dis-
23d. — A miner found seven diamonds in his claim at Pniel
to-day. They are digging much deeper there now. Some
have gone four feet, finding a good wash all the way, while
on this side the general run is six inches or a foot only. I
purchased a beautiful octohedron diamond to-day, weighing
l T 5 g carat, for £8.
24th. — The President issued an order or command for all
the miners to arm themselves, and assemble at headquarters
at noon. About 800 of us met, armed with all kinds of guns.
We learned that at Hebron a Dutchman had shot a native in
the leg, who had stolen something from him, and was running
away. The native chief and some of his men had captured
38 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
the Dutchman, given him an awful beating, and robbed him
of £75 worth of goods. The President told us we were called
together to volunteer and arrest the chief and his associates
in the affair, and also the Dutchman, and fetch them to the
council for a proper trial ; for it was not policy to allow the
natives to arrest and punish any white man in the mines. Two
hundred volunteers were called for who had horses. These
immediately responded; and under command of Mcintosh,
started for Jautjie's kraal down the river, where the Dutch-
man was supposed to have been taken.
25th. — The volunteers found the Dutchman was at Hebron;
so they rode over there, and found him in the hands of Jaut-
jie's son. They arrested the whole batch of them ; and after
a little resistance, brought them into camp, where they were
kept under guard in the committee tent. They will be tried
to-morrow by the committee or council. About 100 men
were allowed to go over by the missionary society to the Pniel
side. As we had only found one diamond on this side of the
river, though constantly working, Ra tvstorne went over and
secured a claim of twenty feet square, near to where diamonds
are being found every day. He purchased a small cradle for
£2 105., and he and two of the bovs went to work, while I
and the other boys run the machine on this side. We also
set up a young man named Bowler in a claim on the second
kopie; we to furnish him with a boy, provisions, and tools
and wash his " cascalho," and he to give us half of the pro-
ceeds of his finds.
26th. — As we have found no diamonds on this side for two
weeks, we have concluded to move everything to the Pniel
side, and put the whole of our force to work at that claim,
and give up those on this side. We have seven boys now
that we give a shilling a day to, and find in food. One attends
to the cattle, one cooks, and the other five mine and wash,
while R. and I sort at the tables. R. and I signed the rules
at Pniel this morning, among which the most important one
is, that we must report our finds to the committee within
twenty-four hours ; they will weigh them, and, after we sell
them, we must pay them one-fourth of the proceeds.
27th. — The trial of the prisoners broke up in a row yester-
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 39
day, and the miners elected twelve new committee men, and
had a fresh trial, which resulted in making Jautjie refund the
£75 worth of goods, and the Dutchman was fined £25 for
shooting the Kaffir. Captain Gordon found an imperfect 7}
carat diamond to-day, worth £50.
28th. — I purchased a bright yellow diamond to-day, weigh-
ing 2 T \ carat, for £20. I also purchased some boart, at 30s.
a carat. I also made arrangements to purchase a farm of 30,-
000 acres, fronting on the Yaal River, between this and Heb-
ron, for an American Company. If it is worked on a large
scale it will pay immense dividends, if anything like the Pniel
estate in richness. About fifty diamonds a day are now being
found at the diggings, some large and some small.
30ph. — An 8f carat diamond found to-day next to our claim.
"Nary diamond" have we found since the 13th. A gentle-
man took me on one side to-day, and informed me that, as he
saw that I was going deep in the mine, and that as he knew I
should find diamonds at a great depth, he would let me into
a secret, and that was, that at a depth of ten feet, he had
found more diamonds than nearer the surface; and, as all the
miners were under the impression that there were none below a
depth of four feet, he suggested that we should keep it a se-
cret until the miners had worked their claims out to this depth
and left them, and then that we should make a contract for
the whole kopie, and work it out to the bed rock witli a large
force of natives. I told him I would think about it, (The
miners found it out themselves shortly afterward).
August 1st. — liawstorne found two diamonds to-day out of
the claim on the Pniel side after washing out four loads. Our
claim is about fifty yards from the washing place. We moved
our large cradle over and set it up. It works much better
now, and with the force we have we can manage to wash and
sort fifteen loads a day. At daylight we go to the mine, and
by 9 o'clock we have dug out and sifted fifteen loads of u cas-
calho," hauling it down to the river in the meanwhile. At 9
o'clock we breakfast, and then, while the boys wash, we sort.
At 1 p.m. we have luncheon, and then resume our washing
and sorting till 6 p.m. ; then we have dinner. On moonlight
nights some of the miners dig and sift till 10 o'clock.
40 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
August 3.— The President of the Transvaal Republic, Mr.
Pretorius, and the President of Klip Drift Diamond Fields,
Mr. Parker, called upon me to-day and examined my machines
for washing and sifting. The former has taken up a claim
on the Klip Drift side, and works at it himself like a navvy.
He is on a visit to the fields for the purpose of proving the
claim of the Transvaal Republic to them. A conference is to
be held next week five miles up the river, on the Klip Drift
side, at which the Presidents of the Transvaal Republic,
Orange Free State, Diamond Fields, and three native chiefs,
who all laid claim to the territory on the west bank of the
Vaal River, from the mouth of the Hart River, running
north, will be present. A man named Jacobs found a 434
carat diamond to-day, valued at £1,000.
4th. — Diamonds are being constantly found all around us.
We are sinking very deep in our claim in comparison to our
neighbors. It will take us three months to work out our
claim. The running expenses of our party of two white
men, seven Kaffirs, and Bowler is about £40 a month.
8th. — The miners made arrangements for a subscription
ball in honor of President Pretorius. It was successfully ar-
ranged, and was held in President Parker's tent. There
were about one hundred and fifty gentlemen, in all conceiv-
able costumes, from the swallow-tail to a clean mining suit.
Sixteen ladies graced the ball with their presence. There
was no roof to the tent ; the floor was washed gravel from
the mines. A few tallow candles dimly illuminated this gay
and festive scene, and the moon had to do the balance. At
one end a table was set with bottles of James Hennessy, wine,
and soda water, which were kept continually in motion. The
reserve stock of liquors and a lot of pies and cakes were
lying near the side of the tent behind the bar, and a number
of individuals reached under and cribbed a quantity, passing
them round among the outsiders. The music consisted of an
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 41
accordcon, fiddle, flute and bass drum. Although we did not
have all we could wish for, our ball passed off pleasantly.
We meandered to work again at daylight.
10th. — Our bottom sieve being worn through, we had
great difficulty in procuring another. We had to pay 155.
for a piece two feet square, ordinarily worth Is. per foot.
11th. — Purchased a lot of diamonds to-day, among them a
most beautiful half carat octohedron, from a person who
found it near our claim. It looks as if it had been cut. I
had it set in a ring by a jeweler who has opened a shop at
13tii. — Washed out seven loads, and found one diamond.
After dinner went over to Klip Drift to see the new billiard
saloon of Sangers, of Bloemfontein It is a frame, covered
with canvas on the sides and an iron roof. Sanger has been
taking £60 a day since he opened. Black pool seems to be
the ruling game. About twelve or fifteen men are playing
all day and night, at Is. each every half hour, and during
that time they never take less than two drinks. Then there
are about four card parties kept going day and night at un-
14th. — Met Sonnenburg, of Jacobsdahl, who informs me
that he has secured four large farms on the Yaal River, below
Pniel. Diamonds have been found on the surface of all of
them by the natives. Sonnenburg intends to raise a stock
company, and mine the farms on a large scale, and also turn
the river on their fronts and work the bed of it.
15th. — Wesser found a sixteen carat diamond to-day on
16th. — Our party found a half-carat diamond.
17th. — We have now gone down ten feet; the soil has
changed to a whitish color, but still contains a great number
of water-worn pebbles.
18th. — Met Mr. Farseneau, Portuguese Consul at Potchef-
strom, Transvaal. He is also in the mercantile line at Potchef-
strom, and is anxious that Americans should come to the
Transvaal with capital and develop the country, lie says
there is an immense field for legitimate speculation in that
country. A thirty-six carat diamond was found by Webster
42 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
at a kopie three miles below here. A twenty-six carat one
was found on the Colesburg Kopie.
19th. — Our party found a one carat diamond, triangular
shaped. As a rush was being made to Webster^s Kopie, Raw-
storne went down there and took up a claim. He managed
to get one on the outskirts of the kopie ; worked it all day,
but could find no wash or " cascalho."
22d. — We found a If carat diamond. R. returned in dis-
gust from Webster Kopie with the two boys, not having
found any indication of diamonds in his claim. Our Kor-
anna, named Hendrik, stole a diamond from our lower
sieve, and tried to sell it to a friend of ours, who took it
from him and gave it to us. We questioned Hendrik about
it. He said he had found it on the Klip Drift side while
walking along. As this was the second affair of the kind
from him, I felt certain he had stolen it, and I complained to
the committee. They said they could not punish him unless
it was proved that he Had stolen it. So I returned and told
Hendrik, in a mild and kind tone, that if ever I caught him
stealing a diamond from our party, I would blow his brains
out. He reformed!
^ 24th.— Mr. De Kock, from Hopetown, informed me last
night that he had worked in the fields for three months, and
was £120 out. He was becoming discouraged, and would
soon leave ; he looked very blue. At noon to-day I met him
tearing down the road, with a countenance as radiant as an
angel's, and meeting me with the remark of, " Look at that
and weep," showed me a diamond that weighed fifty-four
carats, and worth £5,000, that his boy had just handed to
him. The boy saw it roll down the heap
of "cascalho" while shoveling it in the
" Tom." It is of a yellowish tinge, of this
size and shape; a perfect octohedron. He
leaves for home to-day, as happy as a king.
25th.— Washed out ten loads. No dia-
monds. Messrs. Parkes & Co., who are
mining on the second kopie, Klip Drift side, had been
working their claim for a month, and had found no dia-
monds. They had only a small corner to work to finish it,
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 43
when they intended to leave for home, in disgust. They
offered their claim to a neighbor for £1, but as the offer
was refused, they concluded to finish it themselves. At
the very first pick, a beautiful fifty-six carat diamond
rolled out about the same shape as De Kock's, but of
first water and flawless. It is valued at £10,000. Parkes
come over and invited us to call and see it. Rawstorne went
over and saw it, and has been feeling bad ever since; it
makes him covetous. Webster found at his kopie a nine
carat and a twenty-six carat diamond to-day. A singular-
looking diamond of nineteen carats was found on the second
kopie at Klip Drift. It is of a bright yellow color, free from
specks or flaws, and quite flat; it is valued at £2,000. Over
£20,000 worth of diamonds found to-day.
26th. — Washed out nine loads, and found one diamond. I
was offered a twenty-six carat diamond to-day for £700, but
upon examining it closely, found that it was split nearly in
two. Didn't bite ! I purchased eleven diamonds to-day, all
less than one carat each.
27m — We found one diamond to-day, weighing one-eighth
of a carat, first water. As one of our boys wanted it, we let
him have it for 10s.
28th.— Attended a ball at Mr. Biddulph's tent; three
ladies and forty gentlemen present ; concluded not to dance ;
sat up till daylight discussing politics with the two Presi-
dents, and washing it down occasionally with * * *
29th. — About a dozen gentlemen who had come from Coles-
burg on a lark, and had been our guests for the last week, re-
turned home to-day. They could not resist the temptation
of mining v little themselves, and had found a diamond, for
the ownership of which they played a game of seven up.
We all had a regular square meal at Heathcote's tent before
they left— boiled ham, roast mutton, mutton curry, plum
pudding, * * * English ale, and a clean table-cloth.
Sept. 1st.— Saw a beautiful dodecahedron diamond, If
carats, of a bright orange color ; tried to purchase it, but the
Dutchman would not sell. A trader named Franz Roose,
who is mining and trading near Hebron, was awakened from
his sleep at twelve o'clock last night by a Koranna native.
44 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
Thinking that he wanted liquor, he would not let him in ;
but finding that he had a diamond for sale, he got up and lit
a candle, when the native rolled out of a dirty rag a mag-
nificent sixty-three carat diamond. Roose was stunned for a
minute, but recovering, asked the native what he wanted for
it. lie said that he wanted R.'s wagon and ox team, twenty
other oxen, one hundred sheep, and £30 in coin. R. told him
lie could have it, and £20 worth of goods besides. R. was
offered £5,000 for it; it had cost him £280. I saw the dia-
mond to-day, and Roose told me the story. He says that the
Koranna promises to tell him where he found it. It has a
yellowish tinge on the outside, but it is not deep, and it may
cut into a' 35 cart brilliant, and fetch £10,000 in Europe.
2d. — Washed out fifteen loads to-day. JVb diamonds, A
seventy-seven carat diamond was found on the old kopie at
Klip Drift to-day. It is full of specks and flaws, and fit for
boart only. Worth about £100. Mr. linger showed me
over two hundred diamonds that he had purchased lately,
mostly large sized ; one of forty carats. Mr. Robinson
showed me a diamond of nine carats, that looked exactly like
a crystal, and it had to be thoroughly tested before it was
known to be a diamond.
On the 8th I left for Bloemfontein and the Colony, having
to leave two-thirds of my claim unworked, and attend to my
regular business. We found several other diamonds before
Pniel (pronounced Peeneel) is situated on the east bank of
the Vaal River, about 100 miles from its mouth. The dio*-
gings are about three miles from the mission station. The
Vaal at the diggings is about 200 yards wide, and numerous
yawl ferries are constantly plying to and from Klip Drift, or
Parkerton, as it is now called. A large wagon ferry has also
been started, to be used at high water, when the river cannot
be forded. A high kopie rises at the drift, from which a rand
or spur runs down and parallel with the river. This rand is
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 45
about fifty feet high, and more than a mile long, and it is on
the top and sides of this that the diamonds are found. Dia-
monds have been picked up from the top of the very highest
kopie; but as none have been found there by mining, and as
there is the remains of an old kraal or native hamlet still to be
seen, it is presumed that the diamonds that were found on it
were left there by the native children, who had picked them up
from the surface of the rand, perhaps to play " Jack-stones "
with. I have frequently wandered among the ruins of the
kraal, looking for some of those lost "Jack-stones." The al-
luvial deposit on this rand is about a mile long, 200 yards
wide, and from twelve to thirty feet deep. The first deposit
from the surface, about six inches, is of a brownish color. The
second deposit, of about five feet; is quite red, and the other
strata is white. All these strata, or deposits, contain a large
percentage of water-worn pebbles, ranging from a pea to an
egg in size. The diamonds are found among these pebbles.
The bed rock is quite flat, and very much water-worn wher-
ever you strike it. There are about 3,000 inhabitants at Pniel
at present ; and although a great many leave for the new
rushes, the place is gradually growing. There are stores,
auction marts, saloons, billiard tables, bakers, butchers, doc-
tors, lawyers, but no undertakers yet. But an enterprising
acquaintance of mine has just started up with a nest of coffins
on speculation, so that intending emigrants need have no fears
of not being decently buried, in case they should want to re-
main there. A post-office has been established, and a news-
paper, called, the Diamond News, is successfully under way,
and has six pages of news and advertisements; it is issued
weekly (on Saturday). You can safely ship diamonds by post
from here if you register them, and you can rely upon their
being delivered to any part of the colony that you may wish
to send them.
At these diggings more diamonds have been found than at
any other district of the diamond fields, but they average
small (about one carat). Nearly every miner who got a claim
within the limits that I have described above, was sure to get
diamonds, but they would be small, and, perhaps, not pay ex-
penses. Still, as you will see by my diary, quite a number of
46 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
large diamonds were reported, and perhaps a great number of
" bulls " were found and not reported. A tax of 10s. a month
on all miners for each cradle is now enforced at PnieL This
goes to the missionary society, but will hereafter go into the
hands of the British Commissioner to be used, as occasion
may require, at the mines. The claims allowed are thirty feet
square, and will take an ordinary company of six four months
to work out. The committee require that all miners shall
sign the following rules for the miners and others of the Klip
Drift Diggings :
1. That the rules be called " Rules for the miners and occupiers of
the Klip Drift Diggings."
2. That the committee consist of seven (7) members.
3. That four members constitute a quorum, and that the chairman
have a casting vote, in addition to his vote as committee-man ; and in
the absence of the permanent chairman, the members present to elect
one from among themselves.
4. That from and after the 15th July, 1870, any person working or
taking a claim will be required to pay to the committee the sum of two
shillings and sixpence (2s. 6d.) which will entitle him to a digger's right
here. This sum to be expended for local purposes, as stated in Rule
No. 18 ; and any digger failing to comply with this rule will render him-
self liable to have his claim jumped.
5. That the extent of a claim shall not exceed twenty feet square,
and any one holding ground in excess is liable to have the surplus jump-
ed, the part to be indicated by the owner of such claim.
6. That no case or dispute will be entertained by the committee un-
less the complainant first deposit the sum of ten shillings (10s.) in the
hands of the secretary, the same to be refunded, in the event of the
judgment being in his favor ; the loser to pay ten shillings (10s.)
7. That no person or persons will be allowed to slaughter animals
within the precincts of the camp, but on application to the committee
certain places will be pointed out by them for that purpose.
8. That any person or persons depositing night soil within the pre-
cincts of the camp will be fined, except at such places as the commit-
tee may point out.
9. That any person or persons discharging fire-arms within the
camp, shall be subject to a penalty not exceeding £5.
10. That no person shall be allowed to serve natives with liquors
on Sundays, except for their employers, and not then without a written
order, under a penalty of not exceeding £5, and no person selling liq-
uors will be permitted to keep their places of business open after 11
11. That all dead carcasses of animals be removed to a distance of at
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 47
least half a mile from the precincts of the camp ; in default of which
the committee will have the same done at the expense of the owner of
12. That all thoroughfares be left free and uninterrupted.
13. That all persons having or requiring a stand lor business pur-
poses, shall pay to the committee the sum of twenty shillings (20s) per
f month ; such stand to be not more than fifty feet square, and no per-
son will pe permitted to take possession of any plot of ground without
the sanction of the committee, and in the event of such ground beino-
required for digging purposes, it shall be competent for the committee
to order the occupier to remove to some other spot, after giving due
14. That no person or persons can convene a public meeting with-
out sending a requisition, signed by at least twenty-five (25) diggers, to
the committee, stating their reasons for wanting such meeting called.
15. That for every contravention of the foregoing regulations, for
which no penalty has been provided, a fine not exceeding five pounds
(£5) sterling will be imposed on conviction, recoverable as provided for
in Rule No. 17.
16. That it be in the power of the committee to act in such cases as
are not provided for in the foregoing rules.
17. That in the event of non-payment of a fine, the committee re-
serve to themselves the right of holding a sale of such property of the
individual as shall cover the amount, and every digger will be expected
to assist the committee in enforcing their decision. '
18. That all moneys derived from claims, fines, and other sources, be
expended in sanitary and other purposes necessary to the diggers of
19. That every digger be required to sign the foregoing rules, and
those failing to do so, will not be entitled to protection.
Stafford ^Parker, President.
The claim adjoining mine has paid £4,000, and has not been
half worked out. The largest diamond found on it sold for
£1,700—1 could not find out the weight of it; while a claim
on the other side of mine did not pay expenses, although dia-
monds were found in it. There seem to be regular runs,
which are only found by accident. These runs may not be
more than two feet wide; but for ten feet on each side, not a
single diamond will be found. Now, in Brazil and India, a
regular diamond miner can tell the instant that he comes
across a diamond run, and he will not waste his time in wash-
ing any other kind of soil. In Brazil, where small diamonds
predominate, a miner who has been brought up to the busi-
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
ness can tell the average yield of " cascalho " before washing
it, like the silver miners of Mexico, who can tell the average
value of a heap of ore, merely from the appearance of it.
Parkerton, formerly called Klip Driit, now named after
Stafford Parker, who first let the world know of the existence
of diamond mines there, and who has been president and lead-
ing man of that side of the river ever since, contains at pres-
ent about two thousand white inhabitants, who mostly live
in tents. Some have built frames in the shape of a house,
which they cover over with canvas, having swinging doors
and windows to them. Others had frame houses built at the
colonial towns, and brought up in pieces on ox wagons ; others
brought corrugated iron houses, and at least half a dozen
houses were built of unburnt brick. During a thunder storm
that passed over the place a short time ago, almost every hut
and house was leveled with the ground. Since then, they
have been more substantially put up. The place is gradually
assuming the shape of a laid-out town ; the old mining roads
have become streets. Town lots of about 100 feet square,
have been taken up on the second, or Town Kopie, and Availed
in by those who chose to do so. In the main street, which
runs parallel with the river, Mr. Parker has built a brick mu-
sic hall, at which theatrical performances take place, and ven-
triloquists, minstrels, etc., give entertainments. There are
half a dozen doctors, two diamond merchants, a photograph-
er, two butchers' slfops, two bakers', and about a dozen stores,
where you can purchase groceries, drugs, clothes, hardware,
boots and shoes, mining tools, and everything else that a
miner requires. There are also several carpenters' and black-
smiths' shops; also two jewelers' shops, and drinking saloons,
till you can't rest. The building of several churches is con-
templated, and they will probably soon be up. At present,
Divine service is held in the committee tent and billiard sa-
loons, of which latter there are three ; also at the music hall.
Sunday is strictly observed ; all the stores and saloons are
closed, and large congregations assemble at the different ser-
vices. There are about 250 women and children at Parkerton,
which gives the place an air of civilization, especially on Sun-
days, when they come out in their best store clothes. Deacon
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
Kitton is there at present, establishing an English church.
^climate at Parkerton is healthy, and, consmermg the
xnanner in which people live, there is very little ******
Slight fever prevails dnring the summer, hut it seldom pnnes
S. Occasionally they have terrific rain storms ac^omp a-
nied by thunder and lightning. The government ol Parker-
tou is carried on by Mr. Campbell, the magistrate -JJ£*££
the English Government. The miners will, no doubt, d u a e
a greafer benefit by having a strong hand to govern . hen,
than bv bavin- a Republic of their own ; at least till the
^ te ifas Lome mole settled. The 0^ *™^
has been very liberal to emigrants, and the colonists aie
21 that a good class of emigrants should come out and
settle in the Colony. Americans, especially, are bought
vtry hghly of on account of their energy and enterprise
The English language is the prevailing one at the mines but
Sere art> a great many Dutch there who can not understand
a word of English. The natives around Parkerton are called
Korannls- they are of a dark mulatto line, and not at all
B-orannaa, u y nn , n .,,,,i \, y the number of
dangerous, being completely overawed oy
White men at the mines, but they will steal if they get a
chance The best laborers come from the far north, on the
LiTpope 5 they are called Kaffirs, and are quite black, and gen-
c Sly honest. Capt. Gordon and Mr. Green, at Pmel have
tl ' ee of these black each, and they trust them altogether in
Z 2 g washing, and sorting; and I have frequent y seen
inland their' masters the diamonds that they had found
tTerhans the day before. Provisions can be bought at the
foil w ng prices^: beef, HdL per lb.; mutton, 3<Z. per -do.., bu^
t I perdo.; coffee, U. per do. ; sugar, id. per do. ; flour,
Til p'd 100 lbs.; meal, 7, per do.; potatoes 4,. per do;
co n 3s. per do. Forage for mules or horses, 6,?. per bundle,
or one feed; board ami lodging at the hotels, 10. per day;
5^5 P- drink. The photographer charges 20. a dozen
for cartes-de-msUe. Small-size cradles are ^1/1^
Yankee Babies £2 10.,, and everthing else, inching clothe
and hardware, are as cheap as at the sea-ports. As at all
and narawa ator e B are generally overstocked With
new mining camps, the stoics aie geiie j „ 011 .„ mience
.cods as soon as the rush commences, and the consequence
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
is, that the prices soon go down. All the store-keepers wil 1
take diamonds for their goods, and will give the highest price
for them that is given at the mines. The two diamond mer-
chants also give very good prices in cash for all diamonds
The next important mining camp is Hebron, situated about
twenty miles above Pniel, and on the west side of the Vaal
River. There are several stores here, and about one thousand
white men, women, and children. Among the traders there
is one named Robinson, who has purchased over one hundred
diamonds from natives, who have found them on the surface.
He has, no doubt, made his fortune. Hebron has not turned
out as many or as fine diamonds as Parkerton or Pniel,
and there has not been as great a percentage of successful
miners there as at the above places. No tax is demanded
there yet, but the place has been under the authority of the
Klip Drift Government, and is now within the jurisdiction of
Mr. Campbell, the magistrate. Bloemhof, a village about
one hundred miles above Pniel, and on the Free State side of
the Yaal River, has produced some diamonds, but there are
very few miners working there. Diamonds have been found
on the surface by the natives all the way from Bloemhof to
Pniel, but no rich deposit has been discovered yet except at
Hebron; but there is no doubt that there are plenty of rich
deposits somewhere between these places.
Webster's Kopie, three miles below Pniel, on the Free State
side, has turned out a great many diamonds, mostly large
ones. The largest known weighs about forty carats. Mr.
Webster, who discovered this kopie, has made a fortune there,
having fortunately struck the best part of it upon his arrival.
The balance was immediately taken up by miners from the
great camps, who rushed there upon finding out that Webster
had made the discovery. Webster was entitled to four
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 51
claims for opening the new mines ; thus he secured the best
part of the kopie.
Good Hope and New Hope are situated nearly opposite
Webster's Kopie, on the west bank of the Vaal. At both
these places a large number of diamonds were found, and
rushes ensued from the great camps to them
Gong Gong, another rich place, is situated fifteen miles
belo^sv Pniel, on the west bank. The deposit extends over a
great extent of ground, and at least five hundred miners are
working here, and some rich deposits have been turned up.
Lucas Kopie, nearly opposite Gong Gong, on the Free
State side, has proved exceedingly rich for such a small area.
Captain Lucas and party are from Natal. Some of them
were members of the Rolliston party, of Old Kopie celebrity.
They came over to Pniel when the place was opened to all
comers, and were doing very well at a claim near .mine, when
one morning we found that their camp and claim had been
deserted. Upon inquiry, we found that a Koranna had in-
formed Captain Lucas that he had found a diamond on the
surface of a certain kopie sixteen miles down the river ; so
Captain L. rode down and examined the place. He liked it
so well that he determined to move the whole company down
at once. As his company could not hold the whole of the
kopie, he got three other Natal companies to join him,
making four companies of sixteen men, who would work the
whole kopie on equal shares. So at midnight they packed
up and started for the new diggings, passing through the
camps as quietly as possible, so as not to be observed and
cause a rush. By next day it was found out, and a rush was
made ; but they were too late. The Xatalians had taken up
all the claims that were worth anything. In six weeks the
Natalians had taken out £80,000 worth of diamonds, one of
them weighing 108 carats, and worth £40,000. This gave
each £5,000 for his six weeks' work. The kopie is one mile
and a half from the river, and they had to haul water to
their claims, and wash the "cascalho" in a stretched ox hide,
and with common hand sieves.
Cawood's Hope, near Lucus' Kopie, on the west bank, is
now turning out an immense number of diamonds. There
52 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
are about one thousand miners there now. The last and
greatest rush has just taken place to Sifonel, about twenty-
five miles below Parkerton, on the west bank. This is where
Jautjie, the paramount chief of the whole of the diamond
district on the west bank, resides. At least two thousand
miners are working there now, and it has turned out im-
An American named Bebell, whose father (a retired sea
captain) is residing now in Brooklyn, N. Y., has been
business agent and secretary to this chief for several years.
He has been trading with the natives for ivory and ostrich
feathers, and when diamonds were first discovered he fre-
quently purchased them from the natives. He went up to
Klip Drift and Hebron while the Natal and King William's
Town parties were hunting for the deposits of diamonds, but
left before the mines were discovered. Before leaving, how-
ever, he obtained from Jautjie a concession of all the country
on the west bank that Jautjie claimed, for thirty years,
giving £150 for this privilege, and five per cent, on all taxes
that Bebell might collect from miners working on the fields,
in case the mines should be discovered. Bebell then loaded
his wagon with goods and started on a trading expedition,
more especially to trade with the natives for diamonds. He
followed the west bank of the Vaal down to its mouth, and
then the Orange River to the mouth of the great Haarte
Beeste River. He found similar soil to that at Klip Drift all
the way down. After leaving the Haarte Beeste River, the
country changed to a sandy soil, covered with bushes. He
then struck off the Orange River in a northerly direction,
going as far as lat. 25° south. He then came in a southerly
direction near to the mouth of the Orange River, and leaving
his wairon at Kookfontein, walked over to Port Nolloth, on
the Atlantic, and took a schooner for Capetown. He had not
heard from the diamond district for six months, and he was
astonished to learn that during his absence the mines had
been discovered and a great rush made, and that there were
one thousand white men finding diamonds at Sifonel, where
he had been living for several years. He immediately issued
the following proclamation, and started for the mines :
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 53
"Proclamation". — Diamond Diggers, Take Notice! —
I, David Bebell, do hereby give notice that I am legally
authorized to grant licenses to parties desiring to dig for
diamonds and other precious stones within the territory of
Yarki Mothebe (Jautjie), paramount chief of the Batlapene
Nation, which territory lies on the west side of the Yaal
" The right was granted me by concession, dated May
20th, 1870, by the said chief and his councillors. Applica-
tion for licenses to be made at Lekatlong, the residence of the
chief. The charge for individual licenses will be 2s. 6d.
sterling per month."
If his claim is upheld by the British Government, he will
charge the miners 2 s. Q>d. a month only for license to mine,
and Bebell will make his everlasting pile.
About thirty miles from Pniel, in a southerly direction, and
ten miles from the Yaal, on the Free State, there is a farm of
over six hundred- acres that has turned out rich in diamonds.
Five hundred small ones have been picked up from the sur-
face. It was purchased from the Dutch owner by a company
from the Colony for £2,000, and they are making prepara-
tions to work it on a large scale. About a month ago two
hundred miners went down from the great camp and jumped
it ; but the owners called upon the Free State Government for
protection, and they sent a command to Bulfontein, and the
miners left without resistance.
Jairersfontein rs the name of another diamondiferous farm
near Faursmith, owned by a family named Yisser. They
have allowed about fifty Dutch families to mine on the farm
and w T ash at the dam, and they have turned out a large num-
ber of diamonds, among them one that weighed over fifty
carats. The Visser family get one-fourth of the proceeds of
all the finds. The head of the family is a widow, fat, not
fair, but fully forty. Any nice young man, that thinks he is
fascinating and irresistible enough, had better come out and
marry that farm.
There are many other farms where diamonds have been
found upon the surface, and perhaps many others where they
have not originally been found there, but salted to catch
54 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
some unwary speculator. There is no doubt but that one
thousand kopies will yet prove rich in diamonds, and a thou-
sand fortunes made; but still, there will be a thousand men
who will fail even in making a living at diamond mining.
As yet it is all chance; after a while, when men become
better acquainted with the geology of the country, they will
have a better chance of success. Large companies, who will
work a whole farm systematically, are sure of success.
Jagersfontein— The following is an extract from a
private letter: " On coming to this farm, you come through
a small port, and a large basin surrounded by kopies meets
your view. From the kopies to the present claims is a gra-
dual descent, which leads me to think that the diamonds
now found must, at some time or other, have been washed to
their present resting places. No pretty pebbles here ; the
gravel is of the commonest description, and full of garnets,
green stone, and carbon. In digging, when no more gravel
can be found, the claim is given up, as diamonds are only
found in the gravel. Each claim pays £2 per month, and you
can dig where you like, and open as many different places as
you think proper. . . . Each claim is twenty feet square.
At present my hole is about twelve feet deep, and after all
the gravel is taken out of the sides and bottom, and no more
gravel, we sink another one alongside, and so on till the claim
is worked out. For the first three feet nothing is met with
but black pot clay, and then red pot clay, which continues
till you get to gravel; and if no gravel, rotten sand of a
greenish color, when the digger finds that it is of no use
going further, and tries his luck at some other spot. To
show you how the nature of the soil varies : a farmer from
Fort Beaufort took the next claim to mine, and went dowm
ten feet without finding the least sign of gravel, and conse-
quently gave up his claim and looked for another one ; while
in mine, from the first four feet down to twelve, I found lots
of gravel, with every chance of its continuance. From the
pit the gravel is thrown up on the sifting floor, and dry sifted
in an ordinary lime sieve, fine ; it is then thrown into a bread
tin, with small holes in the bottom, and held in a half cask
containing water, the gravel well rubbed with the hand ; it is
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 55
then placed in another half cask adjoining, and well washed
in the pan, the water drained off, and then the contents placed
on my table, where I sort. I have four posts driven into the
ground, over the top of which I have a white cotton sheet to
keep the sun off, and under this I sit, in front of my sorting-
table, from six o'clock in the morning till six in the evening,
allowing one hour for breakfast and another for dinner ; so
you will see that I am not idle. In sorting, with a little
practice, you can go through a deal of gravel in a day.
With a small piece of iron, with the turn of the hand, you
bring before you some dozens of stones at oilce, and at a
single glance can see if there is a diamond or not, and if the
latter, sweep off sharp; and so on till your day's work is
EXPLANATION OF WASHING MACHINE.
The washing cradle consists of a chest of drawers on
rockers, generally about three feet six inches in height and
two feet six inches in length, and two feet in breadth. The
hopper is twelve inches in height, and by its spread makes
the receptacle for " cascalho " one foot each way wider than
the cradle. The drawers are made of teak wood, to prevent
them from swelling when wet. The sides of these drawers
are three inches high, and a space of three inches is left
between each drawer, to allow of a small rake to be intro-
duced for the purpose of stirring the washed pebbles occa-
sionally. The pieces of wood that the drawers slide upon
should be one inch wide, and reach from the top of one
drawer to the bottom of the one above, making a close fit, so
that the pebbles can not get in between their sides and choke
up the drawers so that they could not be drawn out. The
top drawer should be sheet iron, with half or five-eight inch
holes about an inch apart. All the pebbles that do not pass
through these holes can be readily examined and thrown
aside without emptying them on a table. The second drawer
must have a wire bottom, with the holes half an inch in size,
and the bottom drawers must be made of one-sixteenth inch
wire mesh. All that will pass through this last sieve will not
pay to sort. The last two drawers are emptied on a table
56 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
for sortme Any kind of a pump will do that can throw
Su-ee ncltes of later through the hose to the top of the
sluice, where the dirt is placed and washed into the cradle
They generally put about ten shovclsful m at a washing, and
this takes about five minutes to wash.
EXPLANATION OF BUY SIETEB, OR " YANKEE BABY."
The dry sifter is set in a frame made of four-inch scantling,
well and strongly lined with cross-pieces. The sifting ma-
Ihhie is hung in this frame on straps. At the rear the ma-
chine is three inches high, and at two feet from the rear
it widens to one foot in height, thus giving the desired inch-
nation, to both sieves, so that the « cascalho" can easily drop
off at either end. The top sieve consists of one-eighth inch
wire, placed one inch apart, and crossed with wire at the
same distances. The lower sieve is of one-sixteenth inch wire
mesh, and allows only the fine sand to pass through it
Now the lower and upper sieve are held together with firm
sides of plank, and are consequently shaken together from
side to side. One miner shovels in the oascalho at the
top sieve, which is protected by a hopper, while another
shakes it, and watches the large pebbles pass out, to see
that no « bulls," or large diamonds, escape. The pebbles
under an inch in size pass through into the o^xteenth|inch
sieve, and all but the fine gravel and sand passes to the front
and empties on the ground ready for carting to the river The
coarse gravel and fine sand are left on the ground and g£
erally amount to from one-half to two- thirds of the cas-
calho" dug out, and there is that much less hauling saved
and the washing is also facilitated by getting rid of the fine
nd tl a helps°to clog up the lower sieve. The drawing is
on the scale of one inch to the foot, and is the average and
best size for the machine. It is in general use , * .the ^ mines
during dry weather, but in wet it is useless, and all the cas-
calho " has to be hauled to the river and washech Die wood
work is generally made of the yellow wood of South Africa.
pUVS 5V if
* Q *<
58 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
Theee are several ways of washing for diamonds in South
Africa, and they seem to be a decided improvement on the
Brazilian system. After the " cascalho " is dug from the
mines, it is sifted. The very coarse stones, or those larger
than, say, a cubic inch, are thrown to one side, and the very
fine gravel and sand passes through the sieve, and is also
thrown on one side. The middlings, or all gravel, from one-
sixteenth of a cubic inch to an inch are then hauled down to
the river for washing, or washed at the mine. The dry sift-
ing used to be clone with a common meal-sieve, or a two-
handed square one that was invented later ; two men would
use this while another would shovel in. I then invented a
machine which has been universally copied, and which the
miners christened the " Yankee Baby;" and one man could
sift with this machine as much in ten hours as four could
with the common sifter. (This machine is described else-
where.) The miners generally rise at break of day, and dig,
sift, and cart till 9 a.m., when they have breakfast. At 10
a.m. they commence to wash and sort at the river or at the
mine ; one person rocks the cradle, while another pours in
water that he dips with a pail from the river. The rocker
then sorts the stones in the upper sieve, and empties the peb-
bles from the middle and bottom sieves on a common table,
where they are carefully sorted or examined by the sorters.
A scraper, similar to a knife, is used to spread out a handful
of gravel from the pile. This is looked over for an instant,
and then scraped off, and another batch scraped from the
pile for examination. After the first diamond is found, which
causes a peculiarly pleasant sensation to the finder, who, see-
ing how easily they are recognized at first sight, is enabled to
sort very rapidly, without fear of losing any diamonds ; some,
however, go a little too fast after a while, and scrape off the
diamonds and lose them. Mr. Unger saw a man scrape off an
eight carat diamond one day from his table. He then picked
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 59
it up and gave him over £100 for it. I knew of an instance
where a Dutchman, who had paved his tent with washed
pebbles, picked out three diamonds from it that had been
scraped off the table by some careless sorter. Some of the
miners, especially the Dutch, get a gre n ox hide, and lace
the edges to a square frame ; set this frame upon four legs at
the mine, and fill the hide with stones to stretch it bowl-
shape. After it was sufficiently stretched they would haul
water from the river and wash the "cascalho" in it with a com-
mon meal-sieve, having previously dry-sifted it. They would
then sort the washed pebbles. The sieves used were y 1 - or
T V of an inch mesh. This was a very slow way of getting
on. The men could not get more than about one cart-load a
day dug and washed, while with the rocker at the river two
men could get through three loads a day.' With our ma-
chines, pump, and hose, two white men and five boys, we
could get through fifteen cart-loads a day. About six feet
frontage is allowed at the river for each cradle or machine.
The sorting is the most monotonous part of the work, and
five boys will wash enough in four hours to keep three
men sorting ten hours. At 1 o'clock the work is knocked off
for tiffin or lunch. At 4 o'clock the washers cease, and o TJ to
mining for next day's washing. Some of the miners cart their
"cascalho" during moon-light nights to the river ready for
washing next day ; but in winter it is too cold to wash earlier
than 9 a.m. Some of the miners have a regular Californian
"longtom" and an Australian pump. The pump is made of
four pieces of plank, twelve feet long by four inches wide ;
a common leather suction is placed on the end of a long pole
and inserted into this tube. The pump is then placed in a re-
clining position, with one end in the river and the other over
the upper end of the torn. One man, with a lonsr, regular
stroke, can keep a constant stream of three inches running
while two men are kept constantly raking the "easealho " back-
ward and forward, till the water runs clear; then they take
the washed stuff out by the shovelful and put it on the sort-
ing-table. I do not approve of this plan, as the raking can
be dispensed with by rocking, and thus two movements
saved, making it less tiresome to the miner; and there is
60 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
always danger of small diamonds being washed away.
Pumps are also used for supplying the cradles with water,
instead of buckets, and it is much the best way, as they give
a steady supply. At 6 p.m. the miners knock off work and
dine ; after which some would write, some would make their
purchases of provisions, and others would go to the main
camp and play billiards, black-pool, or unlimited loo; others
would hunt up the diamond merchants and sell their finds,
or go to the store where they had diamond scales and weigh
them, if they intended to keep them for the European market.
Parties from America do not require to purchase much in
that country. Californian long-handled shovels and picks are
the only things that can not be had here yet, but a supply
of these articles will soon find their way here, no doubt. If
they come via England they can obtain most of their sup-
plies there at a much cheaper rate than in America. You
can obtain an outfit in any of the South African ports much
cheaper than in America, but not so cheap as in England.
Wagons, oxen, mules, and horses must be purchased in Africa.
No foreign wagon will stand the climate. I was foolish
enough to purchase a wagon in England. I had it made of
ash, very strongly, and shipped it to Natal in 1869. I got
about 500 miles into the interior, when it broke down so
completely that I had to give up the expedition, and get
back to the coast the best way I could. Tents that sell in
England, at EdoWton's, No. 2 Duke Street, London Bridge,
for £5, sell in Capetown for £8, and in America for about
£10. They are nine feet, regular house-shaped. The follow-
ing is the necessary outfit for four men, this number being
best to start with from America, as it lessens the expenses of
each, and they can divide into two companies at the mines
and hire native labor :
Either an ox wagon and 14 oxen, or a spring wagon and 6 mules. .£150
A nine-foot tent 5
A Scotch cart, 2 mules, or 4 oxen 40
Six months' provisions 50
A set of mining tools 5
A set of carpenters' tools
A diamond washer •
A clry-sifter *
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 61
Cooking utensils £3
100 feet of 12-inch planking 2
Passage from America, first-class 120
or say £100 each. Now, there is a cheaper way than the
above, by taking second-class passage from America, and then
by paying passage from the African sea-port to the diamond
fields, thus avoiding the heavy cost of a wagon and team;
but the advantage of having a team of your own is, that you
are not necessarily confined to the great mining camps, but
can o-o a long way from them and prospect on new grounds,
and perhaps strike on a new and rich kopie that has never
been discovered before. The expense of the cheaper plan
would be as follows for four men :
Passage to the mines from sea-ports of Africa £40
A Scotch cart and 4 oxen at the mines 50
A tent 5
Mi&ing tools •
Cookinff utensils **
A few carpenter's tools
A common washing cradle
A dry sifter , 3
Second-class passage from America, £20 each 80
Lumber, say about. ~
or say £50 each. The necessary clothing is of course not in-
cluded in the above, but a miner must have two suits of
strong corduroy (colored), or^c suit of plain clothes for Sundays
and other occasions, two pairs of nail-studded navvy boots,
one pair walking boots, one heavy pea-jacket, two sets of un-
derclothing, four woolen overshirts, four pairs woolen socks,
a single mattress and pillow (hair is best) ; have the mat-
tress and pillow covered with a colored cotton slip that can
be taken off and washed; two double blankets, towels, toilet
necessaries, sewing materials, a few medicines such as qui-
nine, anti-bilious pills, castor oil, etc. ; a leather belt, a sport-
ing rifle and ammunition ; and a marine glass is also very-
useful in looking out for game or lost cattle, Diamond scales
62 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
are also necessary for those who contemplate purchasing or
selling diamonds, or who intend to prospect at a distance from
the main camp. It is well to learn how to take the specific
gravity of the diamond before leaving home. There ought
to be at least one watch in the company, and a small mari-
ner's compass for exploring parties.
I would advise no one to come to this country unless they
have a capital, or can stand hard work; and not even the
better class if they do not have means to give them a year's
outfit, and in case of failure to take them home again. It is
the worst place in the world for a penniless man to come to.
He cannot get work, nor can he get a passage home again ;
and the best thing he can do is to drown himself, or steal
something and be sent to the breakwater, where he will be
provided for by the State. To men of means who are seek-
ing a chance for investment, I will say that there are splendid
opportunities for it, not only at the diamond mines, but all
through the Colony, the adjacent republics, and the Portu-
Six months after the previous chapters were written, I
concluded, to return to the diamond fields and give them
another trial. I went up this time by the Inland Transpor-
tation Company's wagon, drawn by eight horses. There
were eleven other passengers besides myself; among them
three ladies who were going to the fields to join their hus-
bands and brothers. There were also three ex-English officers,
who had sold out their commissions and were bound for the
diamond fields to try their luck. Wagon, passengers, and
twenty pounds of baggage for each were put upon the rail-
way train bound to Wellington, fifty miles above Capetown,
where we were landed in a few hours, and inspanning eight
fine horses, started over the mountain road to Klip Drift,
700 miles distant. Arrived at a pretty town called " Ceres "
64 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
at 8 p.m., and we obtained good bed and board till 6 a.m.
next morning, when we resumed our journey, generally-
getting good board and beds every night; passing suc-
cessively through the towns of Beaufort West, Victoria
West, and Hopetown, and arriving at Pniel and Klip Drift
on the afternoon of the twelfth day. I found upon my ar-
rival at Pniel and Klip Drift that extensive alterations had
taken place in both towns. There were more substantial
buildings up, built of stone, brick, iron, and wood, mostly
stores, doing a wholesale business with the neighboring
camps up and down the river and inland. But there were
not one-tenth as many miners as were here when I left ; most
of them had gone up and down the rivers after working out
their claims here. Just at this present moment a great rush
had been made about twenty miles down the river, below
Cawood's Hope, and on the Klip Drift side of the Yaal. I
went down there, and found that there were at least 5,000
diggers mining among the huge bowlders on a flat that is cov-
ered with water from the river. During the rainy season, the
claims are quite shallow, and a thirty-foot claim does not last
longer than from one to two months, while at Pniel the claims
last from six to twelve months. When I returned to Pniel,
where I stopped at a very good hotel that had lately been
put up, " Jardine's," I learned of a new inland deposit that
had just been discovered. About six months ago, a Dutch-
man, named Du Toit, while sitting in front of his mud-
plastered house, discovered a small diamond sticking in the
plaster. He aroused himself with an effort from his normal
state of laziness, and continued his search around the house,
and discovered in all seventeen small diamonds. After a few
days' thought, he remembered having, some years ago, made
this plaster from mud gathered near his dam ; and thither he
and his family went, about one hundred yards from the house,
and getting on their hands and knees, discovered quite a
number of small diamonds, all the way from one-sixteenth to
one carat in size. Lillienfield and Webb, two diamond mer-
chants, purchased this farm from Du Toit for £2,000 in
"bluebacks" (Orange Free State currency), and set about
fifty men working on it, and up to this time they had taken
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 65
out over 500 diamonds, the largest, however, not being over
five carats in weight.
A rush was soon made from the river diggings for this
place, called Bulfontein, and some five hundred diggers
jumped the claims and commenced to work them on their
own account, in spite of the protests of the owners. Finally
the owners prevailed on the State authorities to send a com-
mand of one thousand armed men to run the jumpers off.
Upon the approach of this body the jumpers fled, some of
them to the next farm, called " Du Toit's Pan," and while
prospecting, found a deposit there also. They immediately
jumped this farm and organized a committee, who laid out
claims of thirty feet square, and the miners commenced work.
A great rush immediately ensued, and in two months there
were 20,000 miners and their families there. Water was
scarce, hardly enough for drinking, and the " cascalho" had
to be sifted and worked dry. Lillienfield and Webb soon
managed to purchased this farm also, and as they saw that
the miners were determined to remain in spite of them and
the " comando," they concluded not to try and get them off,
but to let them remain if they would pay Lillienfield and
Webb 10s. 6d. per month for each claim. The mirers con-
sented, and went back to Bulfontein and jumped it again, on
the same terms. The two deposits join now, and contain
about two thousand claims, which, with the rents from town
lots in the camps, yield the proprietors not less than £1,000
per month net.
Soon after this, diamonds were discovered on another farm
adjoining Du Toit's Pan, called De Been's Farm. This
proved to be richer still than either Bulfontein or Du Toit's
Pan. An acquaintance of mine found over 150 diamonds in
two months, some of them over sixteen carats in weight.
4 At all the above places diamonds were found, weighing from
30 to 127 carts; this last was found in a claim fronting my
tent at Du Toit's. The Dutch farmer who dug it out com-
menced dancing and hollering, and soon raised a large crowd
around him. lie jumped upon his sorting-table, and holding
up the diamond, showed it to the crowd. It was truly a
monster. Then jumping down again, he made a straight line
66 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
for his tent, and striking it, gathered up his household gods,
insparined his oxen, and left for home, saying that he had
enough, and that any one who chose could have his claim.
That claim was jumped instanter, but I never heard of
another diamond being found in it, although they were being
found every day in the adjoining claims. A ninety carat
diamond was found next to mine at Bulfontein, also by a
Dutchman. By this time there were 30,000 people at the
three farms, and quite a town had sprung up at each camp,
full of canteens and stores, billiard and bowling saloons.
Over 1,000 females are in camp, and on Sunday they are all
out-going to the different churches, dressed in their store
clothes, and gay store clothes they are too.
About the 1st of August, 1871, my former partner at
Pniel, Fleetwood Rawstorne, sent a negro to herd his cattle
at a place where there was an abundance of green grass,
one and a half miles from De Been's claims, where R. was
mining very successfully. The native, while sitting under a
tree, picked up a small diamond, and upon his return to camp
he told his master of the discovery, and the next morning R.
and his company went over there and laid out claims. It was
soon reported at the different camps, and a general rush was
made, and in two days over 800 claims were taken up. T'iis
place proved to be the richest deposit that was ever known
in the world ; the claims rose rapidly in price ; thirty foot
claims were divided into half and quarter claims, and these
parts were sold to newcomers for from' £25 to £500 per
quarter claim. The deposit seemed to have no bottom. Be-
fore I left, some had sunk to a depth of seventy feet, and
found diamonds every day all the way down, striking water
at this depth, but no bed rock. I have known quite a num-
ber of miners to find from five to twelve diamonds a day, and
they generally run large, some as high as ninety earats in
weight. AYhen I left in October, there were 5,000 people
there, 75 per cent, of them doing well. There were as many
as four different companies working a full claim, and none of
the claims were more than one-third worked out. The place
is named De Been's New Rush, or Colesburg Kopie.
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
Du Ton's Pax, De Been's, and Bulfontein arc about
twenty-four miles south of Klip Drift, and sixteen miles from
the nearest point on the Vaal River. As there is no water
to be had but from the dams that the Dutch farmers have
built to collect rain water in, the " cascalho " has to be
worked dry. The Yaal River is 180 feet lower than the de-
posit of diamonds at the above three camps, and conse-
quently a canal can not be cheaply built to furnish water
enough to wash the diamondiferous soil.
The deposits of diamondiferous soil are generally in what
appear to be the craters of extinct volcanoes, filled up even
with the top, surmounted with a ledge or rim of rock slate.
At De Been's New Rush, this deposit consists of, first, a layer
of light sand, containing but lew diamonds ; then a deposit
of red clay that contains a few diamonds ; then a thick bed
of carbonate of lime, containing a great many diamonds ; and
last, a very thick deposit of decomposed green stone, that
contains the greatest quantity, the largest and best quality
of the precious gems. I know of one party who has gone
down in his claim over seventy feet, and has found diamonds
all the way down to the bottom, where he has struck water
in small quantities.
These apparent craters are generally from 200 to 500 yards
in diameter, and contain from 800 to 1,200 thirty-feet claims;
?! feet of every other claim is reserved for a road that is
used by carts that haul off the refuse from the claims after
it has been sifted. This refuse contains a large number of
hard lumps of carbonate of lime, that have been found too
hard to break readily, so are thrown aside and carted off to
the adjoining plain, and dumped as useless. Rains have
come afterward, and, decomposing these lumps, disclosed
diamonds to the fortunate passer-by. A native found one of
fifty carats while passing one of these heaps, that had been
washed out of a lump by the rain. Any machine that could
be invented to crush these lamps quickly and cheaply, and
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
not crush the diamonds that might be contained in them (for
a diamond will crush), will be insured a large fortune at the
The manner of mining at the dry diggings is as follows:
Usually a company consists of two white men and four na-
tives. It takes the four natives all their time to dig and sift
out enough dirt to keep the two white men sorting. The
negroes dig out the soil (there are no large stones like at the
river), and laying it in a basin that they cut in the claim,
pound it with a heavy sledge, to break up as many lumps as
they can; they then shovel it into a coarse hand-screen, the
wires of which are about one inch apart, and shake it through,
throwing all the lumps aside to be carted away, then shovel-
ing the balance into an oblong sieve, three feet long by two
feet wide, the sieving of which is made of No. 18 wire, the
holes being one-eighth of an inch in size. After shaking the
fine stuff through this last sieve, all that remains in it is
emptied on a common board table, where the sorters are ;
each sorter has a table-knife-shaped instrument in his right
hand, and from the pile he scrapes about a handful, spreads
it out with one sweep, and tells in an instant if there are any
diamonds in it or not ; if there are none, he throws it off,
and repeats this all day. It is not hard work, but rather
monotonous. The moment a diamond is found, at least a
dozen diamond merchants will be after it, and you can sell
your gem for gold instantly ; or if you prefer you can ship
them to Europe through the numerous merchants who have
their branch houses at the different camps, and who generally
give an advance on such consignments if wanted. Fine
diamonds (first water) are still keeping up their prices in spite
of the immense finds of South Africa, In fact, the demand
for fine diamonds far exceeds the supply ; it is only bad dia-
monds that have gone down in price about 25 per cent.
The health of the dry diggings is just the same as at the
river ; only four months in the year is the place unhealthy,
and is mostly fatal to the intemperate only. Eight months
of the climate is delightful, and splendid for persons suffer-
ing with pulmonary diseases. There are plenty of doctors
and druggists at the mines. I insert an extract here from
70 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
the Diamond News, published at Du Toit's Pan, December
16, 1871. The unhealthy months are December, January,
February, and March only. At the three camps mentioned
there are about 50,000 inhabitants:
" Health of the Fields.— As the death rate at the fields
has lately been very much overstated by correspondents, we
have taken the trouble to ascertain from the Sanitary In-
spectors the number of interments this month. At Du Toit's
Pan and Bulfontein, from the 1st to the 20th inclusive, 40;
Colesburg Kopie, between the 6th and 16th instant, 18; the
average number of deaths at the three camps being about
four per diem, which is a very small percentage. Still, how-
ever, there is a good deal of sickness, and every day, as the
heat becomes intensified, parties are seen ' treking ' for their
The English Government have control of the diamond
fields, and maintain good order. They have a force of six
hundred cavalry in the district; they are called mounted
police. Only one riot of any consequence has occurred at the
I will now give my own experience and views as a dia-
mond miner at the dry diggings. Upon my arrival at Du
Toit's Pan I met two Americans, who, having landed at
Capetown with but £5 between them, walked all the way to
the mines, 700 miles. I immediately formed a partnership
with them, and purchasing an outfit and a claim, turned the
latter over to them to work; they to give me half they find,
and I to furnish laborers and provisions. I formed several
other companies on the same plan, some with English and
others with Americans. For two months my income just
covered my expenses. At the end of this time I closed up
with my other companies and purchased a claim at De Been's
New Rush, or Colesburg Kopie, for £50, and turned it over
to the first two Americans who had walked from Capetown
they to give me half the proceeds of the find. They have
been finding every day since they commenced on this new
claim, and have turned out over 150 diamonds, among them
a ten carat, sixteen carat, forty-two carat, and an eighty-three
and a half carat, the balance running down to a quarter
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 71
carat, including two, four, five, seven, and eight carats ; and
on January 1st, 18«, only one-third of the claim has been
worked out ; so that my second venture has proved a success,
when my first on the Vaal was a failure. As I stated before,
my advice to persons thinking of going to the diamond
fields is as follows : None should think of starting with le&s
than §1,000 in gold. Take a sailing vessel from New York
or Boston ; land either at Capetown or Fort Elizabeth, and
leave enough money with some merchant to pay their fare
home if they fail at the diamond fields in a year's trial. It is
not necessary to purchase anything that they will need any-
where else than at the diamond fields. By this means they
will be rid of the trouble of carrying baggage, and can go up
in the fast transports from Capetown or Port Elizabeth, in
which they are allowed to carry only twenty pounds of bag-
gage. Persons of more means can go to South Africa much
quicker by steamer via England; it will take about forty-
five days by this route ; by sailing vessel it takes from sixty
to eighty days.
Capetown.— Having determined to start, one of the first
inquiries made by the intending digger will be as to the best
port in South Africa to make for. I think I shall best furnish
that information by giving a description of the various points
of disembarkation. Capetown, from its geographical position
its importance, and its being the seat of Government, I shall
deal with first. Capetown is situated on the shores of Table
Bay in lat. 34° 22" S, and long. 18° 24- E. By reference
to a map of South Africa, it will be found that almost at the
southern extremity of the Continent, and on its western side,
is a peninsula indented on the east by False Bay, and on the
west by Table Bay. At the southern point of this land is
the famous Cape of Good Hope celebrated for its storms, and
the doubling of which has been so great an anxiety to many
a mariner. Capetown is to the westward of this cape, so pas-
72 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
sengers who land at Table Bay will have no experience of the
doubling? or tho sfnrma tk« i 1 • ^*«hiws 01 tne
and ono of t . i i h «*o»« an excellent anchorage,
and one of the handsomest sheets of water in the world It
u t • , lrt o^ »>nii gioat iury, and m voa?»s rrr»n*>
great reluetanoe shipowners allowed their vessels to visit this
poit. The colonists, recognizino- the ncccssitv fm- ; m
the harbor, took the opportunity of TSlS^STi
the colony a I860 to commence extensive harbor \" -ks
after £ Royal Highness had &J ffffj^
docks T^t I"' - e W ° rkS C ° ,lsist ° f breakwater and
shelters the dock and the bay from north-westerly gales
Docks cover ten and a-half acres, and the whole of ifwas
hewn out of the solid rock. The entrance is 100 feet w Td e
and twenty-four feet deep. The widest part is 5 1 fee and
he length of the largest quay is 1,100 feet. The dock it s
unnecessary to say, is of the greatest convenience to shin!
pers and shipowners. Since its opening it has bee", weU
patronized, and the revenue received from it give a first nil
return for the expenditure incurred, which Lou'tstol^
on a rndbon pounds. In none of the British Colonic s t e
in T tm Vat t0 I ?"*"? t0 ** "» «™ * ^
in Table Valley, and is completely inclosed on the cast south
and west by a mountainous cordon, consisting of
Peak Table Mountain, and a singular formation know,;
Cape Lion, and which is supposed to be suggestive of I
jesting Table Mountain, the highest of tK„> 3 £j
feet above the level of the sea. It rises up from the vallev
out nom the sky. From the sea, on afine day it is sinmikr Z
nnposing "Under the shadow of Table Mountain- a *e
colomsts themselves express it, is Capetown, the metropolis of
tl J UC r\ ? wasfounded by VanRiebU in 165 tken
by the Engbsh m 1796, restored again to the Batavian Gov
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 73
eminent, and in 1803, at the peace of Amiens, it was given up
to England once more, and has ever since been under her gov-
ernment: of course it must be understood that with Cape-
town the Cape Colony was also handed over. The colony,
as I first mention it, was only a small patch of ground in
Table Valley, but since that time its boundary has been ex-
tended north to the Orange River, and east to the Great Kei
and Indive, and covers an area of about 350,000 square miles.
Hound and in Capetown the early Dutch settlers founded
their houses; many of their descendants still live on the old
farms, and while the town still shows evidence of the old
style of Dutch architecture, it has some very handsome build-
ings shops, and stores of modern designs, and which would
not 'disgrace some of the wealthy capitals of Europe and
America The population of the town is put down at be-
tween thirty and forty thousand, while that of the whole
colony is estimated by the census of 1805 at 496,381 souls;
of these 181,592 are white or European, 81,598 Hottentot,
100 530 Kaffir, 132,055 other colored. In Capetown there are
but' few Kaffirs, a few more Hottentots or Mozambique*,
while the Malay population probably number one-third of
the inhabitants of the place. The Malays are frugal, cleanly,
sober • they drink no spirituous liquors and make excellent
servants. The Dutch element is the preponderating European
one' in the town, while the energy, the enterprise, and the
commercial reputation is sustained by the English and some
Americans and a few of other nationalities. The town is
laid out in blocks with a painful regularity (that is, the center
of the town), while the houses and hovels of the poorer
clashes nestle close under the slopes of the mountain. There arc
several landing places in the harbor, and from the one known
as the central wharf, there can be seen the splendid avenue
of oaks known as the Government Gardens. These gardens
are about a mile in length, having on one side the Botanical
Gardens, which are elegantly laid out and wed stocked with
the choicest plants, and kept in creditable order I acmg the
Botanical Gardens, and on the opposite side of the avenue is
the town residence of his Excellency the Governor. At the
entrance to the garden is the most remarkable building m
74 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
Capetown; it incloses the mnsenm and the library It is <v
vast s mctur of an e , egant archUectural ^ « .
style, but of winch the facade is still unfinished. On entering
the building by the principal doorway, to which a large a„f
handsome flight f steps lead you, the visitor finds hfmsef
n a sort o vestibnle decorated with some pictures and st!
Z i » "ft " the libriU '- V ' While the »"«um occupies
the left wing of the building. In it can be found specimens
giving r a natural history of the colony, and a very Z ZZ
tion of birds beasts, etc. The library consists of 30 000 vol
-lies of books, and some private rooms at the end of th
library contain a very magnificent collection of works pre!
sen ed to the colony by a previous governor, Sir Ge^eO^
ih s present is calculated to be worth £10,000-a royal <dft
certamly Besides this building, there ar'e others, ^he
center of the town, on a square known as the Parade i he
Commercial Exchange. Then we have the South A rican
College the Somerset Hospital, Railway Station, Gas HouT
Lank Buildings, Public Offices, Supreme Court, Cathedral'
Parliament House, and a number of other institutes too nu
merous here to mention. Strange to say, there i no Lt r
in the town, although the community is very fo„d of theatn
ca entertainments. Some years ago a Mr. Sefton Parry td
a company here for about three years, and made a handso ne
fortune He has now the Holborn Theater, one of the n ^
e t a„d handsomest in London. Behind the town and tow-
ard the mountains are the residences of the merchants
rounded by vineyards and fruit gardens. Tm part J X
town is known as "The Gardens," and the resident are , en
era ly occupied by the Dutch or Africanders. These bouses
nestling among the foliage, the light patches of green 2 £
yarc Is, the darker green of the oak, with the still darker green
of the fir plantation, give a back-ground to Capetown from
a [ seaward point of view, both interesting and Ueshing
the eye of the passenger after a long voyage. The English
merchant, true to the traditions he brings with him from Ms
native land, has his country residence, and this is d 1 ei
situated at Mowbray, Kondebosch, Clai'emont, or WynW
villages respectively at three miles, five miles, six miL, and
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 75
eight miles from Capetown. They are reached either by rail
or road, both of which skirt round the slope of the mountain
amid avenues of trees and through vineyards and tastefully-
arranged fruit and flower gardens. There are no spots I
know of more desirable for residences than these places, per-
fectly sheltered by the forests of trees from the wind, the
heat,' and the sun. They are in winter protected from the
heavy northerly gales, and in summer from the glaring, daz-
zling heat, so painful in the city. What the hills are to the
East Indian merchant, these spots are to the merchants of
The scenery is charming, but I have no time to give descrip-
tions of scenery , my duty is to provide stern facts for the
guidance of the emigrants. I must not forget, however, to
mention that there are marine residences at Sea Point ; this
is the skirting of the Lion's Hill, and the villas have a view
seaward, and a tramway, which runs every hour in the day,
making these residences getatable and convenient. Before I
leave Capetown I will mention that Parliament meets here an-
nually. The Parliament consists of two representative bodies
called the Legislative Council and the House of Assembly.
The former is known as the upper and the latter as the lower
House. The Council consists of twenty-one members elected
for ten years ; the House of Assembly of sixty-six members
who are elected for five years. The session is supposed to
last for fifty days, and for that number of days the members
of the Assembly are allowed £1 per day, and an extra allow-
ance of Is. per mile for traveling expenses. The sessions
last, however, much more than fifty days, and the debates are
generally very earnest and exciting, although they are not so
far advanced as Australia, where horsewhipping sometimes
occurs during debate, or in America, where bowie knives and
revolvers are not entirely ignored. The environs of Cape-
town are celebrated for Cape wine, and really to know what
wine is produced in the country one must visit the Cape. I
wonder how much colonial wine we drink at home fondly be?
lieving it is genuine Oporto or Madeira ? Cape wine has long
been a standing joke in the European and American markets,
but that it has been allowed to remain so can only be explained
76 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
by our gullability and ignorance. At Constantia, for instance,
which is only half an hour's drive from the Wynberg rail-
way station, and one of the prettiest drives one can well
imagine, the wine vaults are splendid. Of course no one
visits Capetown without calling at Constantia and going over
the cellars of the Van Beenans and Cloetes. The stranger
will find it difficult to believe that the choice wines which
are presented to him are of colonial manufacture. The prices
are most moderate and the flavor delicious. The variety of
wines manufactured is very large. There are hock, sherry,
port, Burgundy, and various other wines, while, on the other
hand, the Cape brandy, which is manufactured in immense
quantities, is as nauseous as can he well conceived. It is,
however, universally drank among the agriculturists and
large numbers of other colonists. Constantia, however, is
only a very small part of the wine-producing country. In
the valleys and plains up to fifty miles away from Capetown
there are vineyards and wine farms. In the midst of them
we have villages — they could almost be called towns consid-
ering their populations — such as Paarl, Wellington, Ilellen-
bosch, Somerset West, and other places. They are reached
by a line of railway from Capetown, and this is the longest
line of railway in the colony (there are no lines in the colony
but those in the neighborhood of Capetown), extending, as it
does, to Wellington, a distance of fifty-two miles. In these
localities, in addition to the vinelands, considerable quantities
of excellent grain are produced.
I will, just before leaving Capetown and neighborhood, point
out that in one of the nooks of False Bay is Simon's Bay, the
most perfectly-sheltered bay in the colony. Simon's Bay is the
Cape naval station, and is about twenty-three miles from Cape-
town and eleven miles from Cape Point. The town is a small
one. There is a patent slip, and vessels are easily supplied from
the well-stocked stores of the town. The harbor arrangements
of Capetown are such that passengers have every facility for
landing, and there is a first-class transport service between
Capetown and the diamond fields. The horse wagons of the
Transfer Company are large, comfortable, and roomy. They
carry twelve passengers and are dispatched once a week each
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 77
way. The distance is, as I have already stated, over 700
miles, but the journey is accomplished in nine clays by these
wagons, which keep their time very punctually ; all who have
traveled by them speak in the highest terms of this mode of
conveyance. There is nothing like it elsewhere in this col-
ony or Natal. The journey is so arranged that persons are
allowed certain hours for sleep and meals at the various hotels
along the road, and the Company, to prevent passengers be-
ing Imposed upon, have a regular scale of charge with the
hotel keepers. The fare by the wagons is £12 for the whole
journey. Those who do not care about being a little longer
on the road can avail themselves of other conveyances.
Messrs. Steytler <fc Steytler take passengers through for £10
by bullock "wagon, and this charge includes provisions for the
road. This firm also dispatches express carts, and have wag-
ons cno-aged in carrying goods. In fact, the digger will find
at Capetown every facility for his conveyance to the diamond
fields and in no other part of the colony is there a regular
system of transport. The road throughout is a good one, as
a proof of which I may mention that his Excellency Sir P.
E. Wodchousc, the late governor of the colony, traversed
the road between Wellington and the Orange River in an
American spider, occupying only a period of eight days.
Port Elizabeth, ahout 500 miles from Capetown, on the
Indian Ocean, has a population of over 12,000 inhabitants,
about three-fourths of whom are European. The town is
built principally under a bluff, and one long street running
parallel with the shore, two miles in length, contains all the
business houses, hotels, some residences, and churches. On
the top of this bluff are most of the private residences, some
churches, a fine botanical garden and hotel. The houses are
principally built of brick and stone ; very few wooden struc-
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 79
tures, on account of the scarcity of that article. Some of the
buildings, such as the Town Hall, Custom House, Grey Insti-
tute, and several of the stores, would grace any city in the
world. There is a much larger business carried on at Port
Elizabeth than at Capetown. Their advantageous geograph-
ical position enables them to control all the interior trade
of the eastern province of the Colony even as far as the Free
State. The principal shipments are wool, of which Port
Elizabeth shipped over 40,000,000 pounds in IS 70. Algoa
Bay, upon which Port Elizabeth is situated, is not much
better than an open roadstead, and during the prevalence of
certain winds it is quite dangerous, if vessels- do not drop
both their anchors and be ready to sail at a moment's notice.
Most of the year, however, the harbor is quite safe, and they
are building a wharf now that will facilitate the landing of
cargo and passengers, which at present has to be done by
surf boats. The merchants of Port Elizabeth have shown
more enterprise than those of Capetown generally, but they
have not yet started a transport company to the mines, but
will probably do so soon.
The distance to Pniel via Craddock, Colesburg, and
Jacobsdahl is 428 miles. There are two first-class hotels at
Elizabeth, that charge 105. per day, and about live second
and third class, that charge from 4s. to Is. for board and
lodo-in<>\ There are several boarding-houses, also, that charge
about £5 a month for regular boarders. At the Town Hall
there is a fine library, which is free to strangers. There are
generally about twenty ships, steamers, barks, brigs, and
schooners in the harbor, bound for England principally, and
coastwise. Messrs. Taylor, Kemp & Co, American mer-
chants, run a line of clippers from this place to Boston ; and
once in a while some other firms load a vessel with wool and
skins, and send her to Boston or New York.
From Port Elizabeth to Pniel the roads were naturally
good, and they are being improved every day. At most of
the rivers there are fine iron or stone bridges built, and where
there are none, there are large wagon pouts or ferries. On
the Orange River, on this route, a bridge will shortly be built
that will enable wagons to cross that stream at all seasons ol
80 . SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
the year. During the rainy season, wagons are frequently
delayed for days at swollen streams, that at other seasons
of the year are perfectly dry. It would not pay to have
either a pont or bridge at these places at present.
The shortest route to the diamond fields from Port Eliza-
beth is via Craddock, Colesburg, Faursmith, and Jacobsdahl
to Pniel. A post-cart runs all the way from Port Elizabeth
to Pniel twice a week ; but it runs day and night, and the
carts are generally uncovered, or open and uncomfortable.
But very few persons can stand the trip at once, and have to
lie over half way, and run the risk of getting a seat in the
next post-cart. There are plenty of ox teams going up from
Port Elizabeth, but it takes them about twenty days at the
best of seasons to make the trip. It is pretty certain that a
transport company will be started to carry passengers with
rapidity and comfort to the diamond mines. The duties on
arms and ammunition are the same as at Capetown, viz.,
£1 a barrel for the gun, 6d, per lb. for powder, and 10 per
cent, ad valorem on caps and lead ; cartridges at the same
ratio. There are duties on all other articles that are brought
from foreign countries, excepting personal property.
Durbau, Port Natal, is 500 miles to the eastward of Port
Elizabeth, and is a very pretty and substantially-built town
of about 3,500 inhabitants, chiefly European. Port Natal,
the harbor, is nearly land-locked, and is one of the most pic-
turesque harbors in South Africa, and would be one of the
best if the bar at the entrance was not so changeable. Some-
times there are ten ind sometimes twenty feet of water on
this bar. A contractor undertook to build a breakwater on
the opposite side of the entrance to the city, from a bluff
that rises to the height of 200 feet. It was built out sev-
eral hundred yards, when it was found that it was on the
wrong side of the entrance. It had then cost £60,000, and
was doing more harm than good. Now they have started a
pier from the other side, which may prove successful. In
the meantime, large vessels have to remain outside, and un-
load and load by means of lighters. There are generally
from ten to twenty vessels in the harbor. The port is about
three miles from Durbau, and is connected with it by a rail-
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 81
road, the cars of which run every hour. This railroad has
been extended to the River Umgani, three miles off, where
the quarries are from which the stone is taken to build the
pier or breakwater with. Durbau is situated on the borders
of the bay, on a sandy plain that extends from the sea-
shore six miles to a line of hills called the Berea, which run
parallel with the coast. The surrounding country is thickly
tilled with a large underbrush and small thorn trees. The
city and Berea are connected by a fine macadamized road of
four miles, made at a cost of £20,000. The main street of
Durbau, however, is not paved, and it is not unusual to see
ox wagons stick in the sand, and they have to be partly
unloaded before they can be moved, or else to hitch on
another team of sixteen oxen (making thirty-two in all) to
On the Berea most of the merchants reside, some of whom
have very fine residences on its slopes, surrounded by lux-
uriant vegetation, including all kinds of tropical fruits and
flowers. The climate is fine and particularly healthy. The
main street of Durbau presents a very fine appearance ; the
houses are chiefly built of brick or stone. There are at
least a dozen hotels, that charge from 4s. to 105. per day.
The post-cart runs every day to Pietermaritzburg, sixty miles
inland, carrying passengers. Pietermaritzburg is the capital
of the Colony of Natal, and contains about 3,500 inhabitants.
It is called a city, because the Bishop of the Church of Eng-
land (Bishop Colenso) resides there. There are some very
fine buildings in Pietermaritzburg, and the new State House
would be an ornament to any city in the world. This is the
seat of government, which is represented by a Lieutenant-
Governor and his Cabinet, appointed by the Crown, and the
Legislative Assembly, elected by the colonists. There are
about 17,000 white people in Natal, and the area of the
colony is about 17,000 square miles. It abounds in rivers,
which run from the Drakenburg mountains to the sea, a dis-
tance generally of about 200 miles. These mountains rise to
an elevation of 0,000 feet, and are frecpiently snow-clad.
There is a gradual slope to the sea-coast. On these slopes
are grown corn, cotton, wheat, rye, oats, apples, peaches,
82 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
plums, and melons. Along the coast, and as far back as say-
twenty miles, coffee and sugar are grown to a great extent ;
also oranges, bananas, and pineapples. American emigration
is sought for, and Americans are treated with consideration
and kindness. There are several transport wagons running
from Pietermaritzburg to the diamond fields. The roads
are naturally line, and if miners desire to purchase their own
team, they can always find plenty of oxen and wagons on the
market square on Saturdays, or they can have a wagon made
to suit them by one of the several wagon-makers, or they can
purchase their oxen or mules from the surrounding farmers.
Oxen are sold at £4 a head, and mules and horses from £8
to £10 a head. Large wagons with covers are from £80 to
£100 each. It is necessary to have at least fourteen oxen ;
most wagons have sixteen. Spring wagons, to be drawn by
bix or eight mules, are made for £80. At the auction sales,
second-hand wagons are frequently sold for half the above
prices. Everything else that a miner requires can be pur-
chased at Durbau or Pietermaritzburg. The duty on fire-
arms is 10s. a barrel, and on cartridges the same as at Cape-
town and Port Elizabeth. Gunpowder is not allowed to be
imported except by the Government, from whom it can be
purchased. One thousand cartridges are allowed to be
brought in for each breech-loader that is imported ; of course,
duty is charged.
A route to the diamond fields will soon be opened from
another sea-port (Delagoa Bay), described in another chapter.
It is also the nearest port to the gold mines of the Limpopo
and Zambesi Rivers and their tributaries.
There are several ways of getting to the above South Afri-
can ports from America. Isaac Taylor & Co., No. 8 Kilby
Street, Boston, and No. 40 Broadway, New York, have a line
of vessels running to Port Elizabeth to their branch house
there (Messrs. Taylor, Kemp & Co.) Sometimes they send
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 83
their vessels to Capetown to Messrs. G. S. Holmes & Co.,
American merchants. Both of the above firms are in first-
class standing, and the members of the firms are genial and
kind-hearted gentlemen, and always glad to see Americans
and forward their interests. Most vessels for South African
ports are despatched from Boston, some from New York,
and a few from Baltimore. Pickering, Winslow & Co., of B<5s-
ton, frequently load a vessel for South Africa; Messrs. S. L.
Merchant & Co., shipping merchants at New York, Boston
and Baltimore, are always posted about the sailing of African
vessels, and will gladly furnish any information in their power
to intending emigrants. The passage to any of the above
ports in Africa is generally made in about sixty or seventy
days, and the fare, first-class, is £30, and second-class £20 ;
most of the vessels from America have good cabins and give
good fare. There are two small steamers running from Cape-
town to Natal, stopping at Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth. The
fare to Port Elizabeth on these steamers is £6 6s., and through
to Natal £10. Second-class is about two-thirds of the above
Another way to get to Africa is to go by way of England ;
the passage to England by steamer is made in from ten to
fifteen days, and the fare, first-class, ranges from £15 to £25,
and second or steerage from £0 to £10. On the sailing ves-
sels the fare is much lower, and it takes from fifteen to thirty
days to make the passage. At Liverpool, most all the Am-
ericans stop at the Washington Hotel, just opposite the Lon-
don railway station; the charge is about 10s. per day. There
are other hotels that range from 4,9. to 6*. a day for board
If, in the event of a vessel not being up for South Africa
at Liverpool, parties can always be sure of finding at least
half a dozen up at London. The fare from Liverpool to Lon-
don is, first-class, 30s., second, 2 0.s\, and third, about 10$. ; it is
two hundred miles and is made in less than five hours. Board
can be obtained in London at from 4,9. to 20s. a day, the lat-
ter at the Charing Cross and Langham Hotels at the West
End, and the former in the city, near the Bank of England.
There are two good hotels that I have tried in tLe city, and
84 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
where a great many Americans, chiefly business men, stop at;
one is the Cathedral Hotel, St. Paul's Churchyard, and the
other is FauFs Hotel, No. 7 King Street, Cheapside ; the
charge at this latter hotel is from 2s. to 5s. a night for a
room ; 25. for breakfast and 25. for dinner if you dine at the
house, or you can dine at the numerous restaurants that are
to be found throughout London. Faul's Hotel is convenient
to the Bank of England and the business houses of the city,
from where the different outfits are to be purchased. There
are two regular lines of steamers from England to South Af-
rica. The Union Line carry the royal mails, and leave Ply-
mouth on the 10th and 25th of each month, carrying passen-
gers to Capetown and Port Elizabeth, and forward them by
small steamers to Port Natal. The office is No. 3 East In-
dia Chambers, Leadenhall Street, London, where tickets can
be purchased, including railway fare from London to Ply-
mouth ; it takes about thirty-two days to make the run to
Capetown, where they remain a few days, and then go on to
Port Elizabeth (in about forty-eight hours), where theyreship
to Port Natal. First-class fare from England to Capetown
is usually £42, second-class fare is £30. The fares are lower
than that, when there are any opposition steamers on the
route, and that leave about the same time that they do ; this
line set a good table, and have excellent sleeping accommo-
The Good Hope Line have about five steamers now, and
leave Victoria Docks, London, about once a month, for Cape-
town, Algoa Bay, and through to Natal ; their vessels are
large, and give very good food, and have good sleeping ac-
commodation. They take about thirty-five days to Cape-
town, and their fare is about £5 less than the Union Line for
each class. Their office is at No. 117 Leadenhall Street, Lon-
don. Once in a while there are outside steamers put up for
South Africa, which charge still less than the above lines.
There are at least half a dozen lines of clippers that run to
the different South African ports from London : among them
the Aberdeen Line, one of whose vessels leaves St. Katherine's
Dock, London, for Natal once a month, and they make their
passage in from sixty to eighty days. They charge £30 first-
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 85
class fare, and £16 second-class or steerage : the latter have
to find their own bedding, and it is advisable for them to take
a few extra stores, such as captain's biscuits, preserved salmon
and sardines, ground coffee, sugar, and some preserved fruits.
Some of the other lines run only to Capetown and Port Eliza-
beth, and the fare is the same to each of these ports as to
The Bay of Lorenzo Marquez, or Delagoa Bay, is situated
in lat. 26° S. and long, 32° 40" E. The town' of the same
name is one and a-half miles long and a quarter of a mile
broad, containing 37 houses with flat roofs and 127 thatched
ones. The population numbers 192 whites and 775 colored
The harbor is five miles long and three and a-half miles
broad in its broadest place. There are two channels in it,
called North and South. The southern channel is accessible
to vessels of the largest tonnage ; small vessels may tack
about in any part of the harbor.
The natural beauty of Lorenzo Marquez can hardly be de-
scribed ; and, regarding the safety of vessels, easy entrance to
the bay and anchorage, the harbor is superior to all others of
The following is a guide to vessels entering the bay : when
approaching Iujak Island, coming from south, avoid the sand-
banks near that island ; take Point Vermilion during day
time, and run along the channel marked in the map; avoid
coming too near Shemna Island on account of the sandbanks,
which stretch some distance into the bay ; when arrived at
two and a-half miles from Point Vermilion, keep to the south-
west, and afterward right on toward the anchorage, which
is just in front of the town.
The greater part of the present trade is with the natives,
bringing ivory, ostrich feathers, rhinoceros horns, hippopot-
amus teeth, wax, urzella, etc., for sale or barter. The Portu-
guese Government intend to reopen the roads to the Trans-
86 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
vaal immediately, to bring thereby the Yaal River diamond
■fields, the Tati gold fields, and the considerable Transvaal
produce within easy reach. Lorenzo Marqnez, will, without
doubt, become, within a short period, the key to the rich
mines and products of interior Africa. See routes laid down
The bay abounds with whales, the rivers with hippopotami
(sea cows) ; the soil of the district is very fertile, and fit for
the cultivation of coffee, cotton, rice, tobacco, indigo — in fact,
for all that the Old and New Worlds produce.
In the map the gold region is laid down, though it has
always been known that it exists in these parts, be-
sides copper, iron, and coal ; the exact spot has only lately
been discovered, and it requires only enterprise to enrich
people and country.
Five rivers run into the bay, of which two, L 6.,Uzutu and
Manissa, are to Some extent navigable.
The climate on the immediate coast is healthy, with the ex-
ception of three months in the year, namely, January, Feb-
ruary, and March, when it happens that some of the inhabit-
ants get low fever ; but since the same takes place in Natal,
and that is considered healthy, it is not worth taking notice
of, and only one or two miles from the coast, the climate is
excellent. The lands in the district are well watered and
wooded, the wood being of valuable kinds.
A Mr. McCorkandale, who has been the President of the
Transvaal Republic's right-hand man, and who is the only
live man that I have seen in South Africa, has been to Eng-
land to try and procure a sea-port on Injack Island for the
Transvaal Republic, that the British Government have taken
possession of. I learn that he has succeeded in gaining the
consent of the Government, and has been trying to raise
capital to open the port and the river. This river, with a
little dredging, can be opened as far as the Bembo Mount-
ains, so that a Mississippi-built steamer could run thus far at
all seasons of the year. At the foot of the mountains, on the
highlands, he proposes to start a town that will be in a
healthy location. It is about six hours' run from the island
to this location, and could be run at all seasons without
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
danger of catching the fever among the swamps. From
McCorkandale's proposed town a road will run in a north-
west direction to New Scotland, among the Drakenburo-s,
and from thence branch off north and south into the interior
of the Transvaal Republic. New Scotland is already settled,
and quite a number of farms are under successful cultiva-
tion. There are also several stores in the district ; and now,
if McCorkandale succeeds in getting up this sea-port and
line of steamboats, an immense trade will spring up with the
interior and foreign countries, and all the Transvaalers would
ship their wool by this route. It is obvious what importance
is in store for the Bay of Lorenzo Marquez. Coal and gold
fields lay in easy distance ; and should the latter prove to
extend their auriferous stratas as far as Lobombo, perhaps
(interrupted by this volcanic mountain range) somewhat
farther toward south-east, and should the River Manissa
prove navigable as high up as the sharp bend toward south-
west, the distance would be reduced to an insignificant mini-
mum. Besides, the district Lydemburg is not at all poorly
provided with other useful minerals, as copper, iron, and,
very probably, lead. Should the climate of the immediate
coast be considered too unhealthy, however, it is no more so
than Natal. Very soon an elevated tract of land near Lo-
bombo will be reached in less than two days. A railroad might
be constructed over the well-wooded country, following the
strike of the auriferous rocks toward the north-west, as far
as Tati gold fields, being 370 miles (Engl, naut.) distant in a
straight line from Lorenzo Marquez. No mountain range
would be in the way for the construction of this railroad.
Proposal of law published according to Article 12 of the
fundamental law, and according to Article 1G of resolution
of the Volksraad, dated 21st December,, 1 870 :
Whereas it has been found necessary to make such regulations that,
the first discoverer of gold fields in the South African Republic shall
be entitled to reward, the following is hereby enacted :
Art. 1. — Bona fide finders of gold in this Republic must make such
discovery known, and prove it by producing a sample of not less than
two ounces in weight of the gold to the magistrate, or any other, for
the occasion nominated, qualified official in the district where the gold
has been found ; and have to request that a piece of ground of ten
88 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
miles square be marked out, whose middle point must be the place
or spot where the gold was found, and which request has to be reg-
Art. 2. — To the discoverer of a gold-bearing quartz reef, on Govern-
ment ground or uninspected grounds, within the limits of this State,
shall be granted right for a certain time to search on half a mile
square; and in case alluvial gold is found, the discoverer has alright
to a quarter mile square.. Both may afterward form the middle point
of gold fields of ten miles square.
Art. 3.— The State's President shall, after satisfactory proof of before-
mentioned discovery has been produced, grant a miner's right for
, Art. 4. — When the miner's right, mentioned in foregoing article,
has expired, the miner or discoverer can select a further exploration
right of GOO by 750 feet, from a quartz reef or alluvial gold ground, and
the continual exploration right of 250 feet square, both subject to regu-
lations to be made hereafter.
Art. 5. — On a gold field where there exists a continued exploration
right, only a further right for search for a certain time can be granted.
Art. G. — When a gold field of ten miles square has been marked out,
everyone who wishes to dig for gold must provide himself with a
Art. 7. — Proprietors of private property on which gold is found
have the right to mine for gold without license on their own grounds,
and have the right to prevent others to dig for gold on their lands.
Art. 8. — For a miner's license shall be paid one pound sterling, and
be in force during one year.
Art. 9.— An official appointed by Government shall mark out the
ground and place the beacons.
Art. 10.— The Executive Council shall from time to time frame
further regulations upon this subject.
Art. 11. — Any person, with the exception of proprietors of gold-
bearing ground, who shall be found gold-digging without license, or
refuses to present his license to the appointed official when requested
to do so, shall be punished with money fine or imprisonment.
Art. 12.— The export duty on gold shall hereafter be regulated.
FORM OF LICENSE.
License is hereby granted to to dig and
search for gold on government ground on the gold fields situated in
the district pointed out by authorized Government
official, and on private property, with the permission of the proprietor.
This license is in force during one year, and has to be presented upon
request to the authorized official. Signature
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
TABLE OF REWARD.
£500 for discovery of a gold field which yields 500 ounces of gold a
month during twelve months.
£750 for discovery of a gold field which yields from 500 to 1,000
ounces as above.
£1,000 for discovery of a gold field which yields 1,000 ounces or
more, as above.
Art. 13. This law shall be in force according to Art. G9 of the funda-
Government's Office, Pretoria, 30th January, 1871.
B. C. E. Proes, Government Secretary.
THE GREAT DIAMONDS OF THE WORLD AND THEIR LEGENDS.
How much romance is connected with the bright, invincible,
nonpareil adamant, the most refulgent and the most precious
of gems — the diamond ! And yet it consists solely of the
elementary substance, carbon, crystallized and in its greatest
purity. Although it can not be electrified by heat, it becomes
electric by friction. Its specific gravity is about 3.6. Its
crystals have often curvilinear faces and edges, but its
primary form is a regular octahedron. Its lamellar structure
and peculiar conformation, together with its weight, form
the chief means of distinguishing it from the many stones
which at first sight appear similar. The diamond is the
king of the mineral kingdom, while rubies, sapphires, et hoc
genus, form only the aristocracy. A few of the nobility and
many of the plebeian orders seem to claim relationship w r ith
the monarch ; but however plausible the pretensions of a
topaz or a rock crystal may seem at first sight, when weighed
in the balance they are found wanting. Many people imagine
'that diamonds ouudit to be colorless like water; but although
they are commonly so, yet from a foreign intermixture they
are sometimes white, green, yellow, gray, brown, and more
rarely red, black, orange, and blue. Ileal gems have often
been mistaken for
"Faux brillians. et morceaux de verre,"
and there are extraordinary tales on record of diamonds
90 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
whose value has been unrecognized. The thieves who stole
the Countess of Ellesmere's jewels, finding the gems care-
lessly wrapped up, imagined that the very finest stones were
mere glass ornaments " u orn by player folks," and the Jew
to whom they were offered for sale was of the same opinion.
The great Sanci diamond, worn at the battle of Nancy by
Charles the Bold of Burgundy, was picked up on the field
by a Swiss mercenary, who sold it for Is. 8d. to a priest, and
the latter, in his turn, disposed of it for 2s. Qd. Similar
stories are told of other great diamonds, and even at the
present day it is frequently found no easy task to distinguish
a real brilliant from an imitation. In the be^innino- of 1854.
an English gentleman was robbed of seven brilliants, and
advertised them in the Times, besides leaving no other means
of discovery untried, lie heard nothing of them till the fol-
lowing February, when they were returned to him by a clerk
who had bought a tin box containing them for a pot of beer.
He had worn the finest for months in a scarf-pin, and the
jeweler who set it, as well as his friends and himself, were
under the impression that it was only a " pretty bit of glass."
But books could be filled with anecdotes about diamonds
and romances have been connected witli them from the time
when their possession first began to create envy and blood-
shed in India until a revolution was hastened in France by
the famous diamond necklace of Marie Antoinette. Space
will only permit us to pass in review before our readers some
of the greatest diamonds of the world, an 1 their legends,
and then it will be desirable to refer to the regions where
they are found, with the view of proving that the geol-
ogy of South Africa is "similar to that of other countries
where gold and diamonds exist.* The history of their dis-
covery in South Africa will follow, and we hope to give some
interesting information regarding the Cape of Good IIopw
Fields and the gems that have been found on them, as well
as to place before our readers reliable information regarding
* Mr. Emmanuel is forced publicly to admit that diamonds have been found in
South Africa, but couples the tardy acknowledgment with an absurd statement (prob-
ably based upon Mr. Gregory's information) that the country in which they are found
is not geologically " diamondiferous."
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
their value and the means of ascertaining their identity.
It is well known that the largest reputed diamond in the
world was found in Brazil, and belongs to the House of
Braganza. It weighs 1,080* carats (nearly eleven ounces), and
was found in 1808 by a negro, who was wise enough to solicit
a personal interview with Don John of Portugal. The issue
of tins was that the Regent granted him an escort, under
which the negro shortly returned, bringing the great diamond,
which looked like a darkish yellow pebble, kidney-shaped,
and oblong — about the size of a pullet's egg. The Brazilian
jewelers valued it at three hundred million pounds sterling,
and advised its being left rough and unpolished. The finder
obtained his liberty and a pension. There are doubts as to
whether or not this gem is really a diamond, and it is sus-
pected that it may be only a colorless topaz.
The Koh-i-noor (Mountain of Light), was originally an im-
mense diamond weighing 793 carats, and was a source of
war and misfortune in India for more than a thousand years.
According to Hindoo tradition, it was found in a Golconda
mine, and first belonged to the god "Krischnu," from whose
idol it was stolen by a wild Delhi chief, who wore it ostenta-
tiously in his hat. From this spoiler Ala el Din seized the
prey, and eventually, in 1520, the diamond came into the
possession of the Moguls. The great Aurungzebe resolved
to have it polished, but this task was very unskillfully per-
formed. According to Dr. Behe (paper read before the
British Association, 1851), "There was found at the capture
of Coochan, among the jewels of the harem of Reeza Kooli
Khan, a large diamond slab, supposed to have been broken
from one side of the Koh-i-noor. It weighed about 130 carats,
and one part of its superfices corresponded exactly witli one
side of the Koh-i-noor." After the Koh-i-noor had belonged
successively to the Bahmani, Khilji, Lodi, and Mogul kings,
it came, in 1739, into the hands of Nadir Shah, who called
it by its present name. From him it went into the posses-
sion of the Abdali monarchs of Afghanistan, the last of whom
(Shah Sujah) was forced to present it to Kunjeet Singh, the
* Emmanuel, in his work on diamonds, says that it weighs 1,880 carats, but all
the other authorities consulted state the weight given in the text.
92 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
Lion of the Punjaub. On the annexation of this territory
and the abdication of the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh in 1849,
it became the property of Queen Victoria, and the principal
crown jewel of the British Empire. The farther this stone
was cut into the harder it seemed to be, and thirty-five days
were devoted to the operation. It is now a beautiful rose-cut
brilliant weighing lOOy 1 ^- carats, valued at £120,664.
In the year 1760 a diamond weighing 367 carats was found
at Landak, in the Island of Borneo. The news of its dis-
covery was the signal for a war furiously waged for upward
of twenty years between two of the native tribes. Eventual-
ly the diamond remained in the possession of its first owner,
the Rajah of Mattam, who so superstitiously believed that
the fortunes of his house depended upon its possession, that
he refused to sell it to the Dutch for a couple of gun-boats
and a quarter million of dollars in specie. The Orloff dia-
mond (194J carats), which belongs to the Russian Crown,
was found by an Indian, who made it form the eye of a
popular idol. It is said that a Frenchman who coveted this
valuable optic became a pagan priest, and thus gained the
opportunity of stealing it. He then sold it in Malabar for
£2,800. After many adventures it was purchased in 1775
by the Empress Catharine of Russia from the Armenian
SchafFras for £90,000 in cash, an annuity of £4,000, and a
patent of nobility. It is now placed in the Imperial scepter
of Russia. The Pitt diamond, found in India (136$ carats),
bolonged to the French Crown, and was worn by the Empress
Eugenie at her marriage. The Right Hon. William Pitt,
Governor of Fort St. George, purchased it for £12,500,
and it was sold to the Regent Duke of Orleans in 1717 for
£135,000, while in 1791 a commission of jewelers valued it
at £500,000. Louis the Sixteenth wore it in his hat at his
coronation, and Napoleon the First fixed it in the pommel of
his sword. At the battle of Waterloo it was seized by the
The Star of the South, which weighed in the rough 254
carats, was found by a negro in Brazil in 1853. It was
reduced by cutting to 125 carats, and belongs to the famous
diamond-cutter, Costar, of Amsterdam. The Maximilian
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 93
diamond, owned by the Austrian Royal Family, is of a yellow
color, and rose cut. It was originally in the hands of the
Medici, and came to its present owners through the Grand
Duke of Tuscany. It weighs 139 J carats, and is valued at
No gem is more pure or owns a more romantic legend than
the Sanci diamond (almond shape, weight 53-|- carats), wdiich
originally belonged to an Eastern merchant, who sold it to
Charles the Bold of Burgundy. After his death, at the battle
of Nancy, in 1475, it was picked up on the field and sold first
for Is. Scl and then for half-a crown. After this, it passed
through a number of adventures, till it came into the posses-
sion of Antonio, King of Portugal. It was first pledged to
a French gentleman, named De Sanci, for 40,000 francs, and
subsequently sold to him for one hundred thousand. A de-
scendant of this man confided it to the care of a servant, who
mysteriously disappeared ; but his master was confident that
he had been faithful, and caused a strict search to be made,
which resulted in the diamond being found in the stomach of
the murdered man. The Baron de Sanci afterward disposed
of this jewel to James the Second, and it was sold to the
French Court by that monarch for £25,000. It was subse-
quently in the possession of the Spanish Prince of Peace,
Godoy, and was sold by him to Prince Demidoff. It was
recently purchased by Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy for £20,000.
The Imperial Family of Russia not only owns the Orloff
diamond, but one which has been valued at £369,800.
Holland possesses a modest conical-shaped gem worth
£10,368. But the Persian Court outshines most European
ones in its display of jewelry. Two celebrated stones owned
by the Shah are the " Sea of Glory," and the " Mountain
of Light," valued at £145,000 and £34,848 respectively.
The Pigott diamond was brought to England by Earl Pigott,
Governor-General of India, weighs 82j carats, and was
disposed of by lottery for £30,000. It w T as subsequently
bought by Rundell and Bridge for £6,000, and sold by them
to the Pasha of Egypt for £30,000. A beautiful green
diamond weighing 48-^ carats, is to be seen at Dresden, and
there is a fine red diamond of 10 carats which cost the
94 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
Emperor Paul of Russia 100,000 roubles. A Loudon mer-
chant named Dresden* owned a beautiful drop-shaped
brilliant weighing 764- carats ; and one of the marriage
presents made by Napoleon the Third to Eugenic was a
magnificent brilliant weighing 51 carats. The Nassak
diamond (78f carats) was taken by the Marquis of Hastings
at the conquest of the Deccan, and is now owned by the
Marquis of Westminster.
The celebrated diamond known as "The Hope" is of
a most brilliant sapphire blue color, weighs 44|- carats,
and was exhibited in London during 1851. For a gem
of the same hue, weighing 29-J carats, George the Fourth
paid £22,000. The former of these blue diamonds was
owned by the late eccentric and celebrated Philip Hope,
Esq., whose wonderful collection of precious stones was a
fine gathering of specimens in various states and of different
colors. In order to show what great varieties of diamonds
exist, it is only necessary to catalogue this collection. In it
there were brilliants jet black, very fine topaz color, besides
some of the deepest ruby pallais hue, lemon, cymophane
(green and orange), chrysolite, beautiful light green, aqua-
marine (sea green), deep sapphire blue, light blue, milky
blue, deep orange, brown, dusky red, deep garnet, jacinth
(tawny red), and rose color. All of these stones of so many
hues were veritable diamonds, and most of them passed into
the hands of the well-known English firm of Hunt and llos-
kell, who showed them to the world at the Great Exhibition
COUNTRIES IX WHICH DIAMONDS AKE FOUND. THEIR
GEOLOGY. DIAMOND WASHING.
Diamonds are found in Ilindostan, Borneo, Sumatra, Brazil,
the Ural Mountains, Australia, and South Africa.f If we can
believe what is recorded on the subject, India formerly pro-
duced an immense number. Ta vernier, a French jeweler,
* This gem was recently in the possession of a Parsce, who sold it to an Indian
t They are said also to have been found in North America. There seems little
doubt that small ones have been picked up in California.
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 95
who traveled in the East about the middle of the seventeenth
century, mentions that in his time the mines of Golconda
employed 60,000 persons. Farechta, the historian, asserts
that the Sultan Mahmoud (1 117-1206) left at his death more
than too pounds weight of diamonds. If these statements
he even approximately correct, the diamond mines of llindo-
stan are now comparatively exhausted. At the present day,
the principal are at Sumhhulpore, where the business is he-
reditary in two tribes, supposed to be descendants of slaves
imported for the purpose. They number between 400 and
500 persons, possess sixteen villages, and work during the
dry season in the bed of the Mahanuddy, from Kinderpore
to Sinepore. Although Golconda has been always famous
for its diamonds, the fact is that they were merely polished
there, being generally found at Parteall, near the southern
frontier of the Nizam's dominions. This extensive territory
lies to the north-west of the Presidency of Madras, and its
principal river is the Godavery, with numerous tributaries.
The metamorphic rocks of the Eastern and Western Ghauts
continue to the north of the Godavery, and the triangular
region inclosed between these great mountain ranges and
that river is principally covered with trappean rocks, although
scattered portions of secondary and tertiary strata are to be
found.* A distinguished traveler (M. Voysey), in his "Asi-
atic Researches," states, that at one place where diamonds
were found, he particularly noticed a range of hills, named
the Nalla Alalia, or Blue Mountains, composed of schistose
rocks of all varieties, from clay slate to pure limestone,
accompanied with quartz rock sandstone, sandstone brescia,
flinty slate, and a tuiraeeous limestone containing embedded,
rounded, and angular masses of all these rocks. " These are
bounded on all sides by granite, which appears to pass under
and form the base. The only rock of this formation on which
the diamond is found is the sandstone brescia."
The physical conformation of Borneo and Sumatra is sim-
*Ei alitor nine years ago, geological surveyors under Professor Oldham, were
appointed, and by means of their labors a great deal of information has been ob-
tained ; but only the general features of the geological structure of India are yet
96 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
ilar. In the latter island the mountain systems are of trachyte
granite, limestone, red sandstone, and a wide-spread conglom-
erate composed of granitic and quartzose particles, the hoi-
lows in many places being filled with lava. In the valleys
tertiary deposits are found. Gold is widely diffused • and
here it seems desirable to call the reader's special attention to
the fact, that in every country where diamonds are found,
gold has cdso been discovered in large quantities. Dr. Gar-
dner* found gold mines in existence within the diamond
regions of Brazil, and speaks of « a vein proceeding down-
ward through a soft, white, arenacious, schistose rock. I
found them occupied in washing the material they had taken
out, which proved to be very uncertain in its product, some
days yielding one, two, and three ounces of gold." From the
Ural Mountains, in the year 18G2, no less than 6,660 English
lbs. of gold were extracted. The heaviest nugget found
weighed 80 lbs. This chain is composed principally of crys-
talline and metamorphic rocks, granite, porphyry, gneiss,
chloritic and micaceous schists. Humboldt foretold that
diamonds would be discovered here, and his prophecy has
been fulfilled. Besides these there are large and beautiful
emeralds, as well as the beryl, topaz, and amethyst.f It is
well known that when, in 1840, Count Strelecki submitted to
Sir Roderick Murchison a series of Australian rock and min-
eral specimens, that experienced geologist recognized in
them such a remarkable resemblance to the auriferous rocks
of the Ural Mountains as to make him positive that the
precious metal would be found in large quantities within
In that vast island an immense central expanse of tertiary
beds is surrounded by a continuous belt of plutonic and me-
tamorphic rocks. Numerous and often extensive patches of
igneous rocks are found through primary, secondary, or ter-
tiary strata, and a broad strip of palaeozoic rocks extends
from the shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria to Bass's Straits.
■ — ' — — »
* " Travels in the Interior of Brazil, principally through the Northern Provinces
and the Gold and Diamond Diftricti." By George Gardner, M.D., F.L S Second
t Some emeralds found on the eastern slope, in the district of Ekaterinburg weteh
13dwts. 9 grains. b
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 97
There can be no doubt about the similarity of the geology of
Se auriferous regions of Australia to those of South-Eastern
Africa, and in the sequel it will be shown that, so far from
our own diamond and gold fields presenting any exception to
geological rules, they are merely additional instances o nbcu
accuracy. In Brazil, diamonds are usually found in diUu* lal,
travelly soil, but Dr. Gardner (page 346) states positively,
"That I not however, the matrix in which they have origin-
ally teen formed. Whatever may be the case in other coun-
t L, I remain perfectly satisfied that here they have origin-
ally been formed in the metamorphic quarto-schistose rock of
whin the mountains in the diamond district are constituted
andThatthey have, during a long series of years, been washed
Sown along with the other debris." These metamorphic
roX being rather soft, are easily. disintegrated, and small
Ites have frequently been found containing diamonds .en,
bedded in them. In Brazil, when the diamond formation
cotilts of loose gravel, it is called « cascalho , ' .and ^n
of ferruginous conglomerate, it is named " canga. Dian onds
fre generally found in an agglomerate of rounded pebbles
and Ld, formed by the decomposition of gramte »d L»«
slate The bed varies from one to four leet in thickness
Tne '« cascalho " generally rests upon a substratum oi hard
clay, beneath whfch are found the solid chistose rocks which
gen rally prevail throughout the diamond *"**J*»*
times « canga" rests upon a kind of limestone, in which case
it is always found to be rich in diamonds.
The following is the manner in which washing is earned
on : along one side of a pond of water a range ol t.-o^hs is
placed, whose sides next the watei aic low. u
£ouU gravel is placed, on which water is immediately
daTed with great force. By this means, and stirring at Ire-
quen intervals with a small kind of hoe, it is reed Iron
Z£ and sand, when the larger particles 0* graveUre _ taken
out and any large diamonds .are found. The laboi is con
timmd from y morning until four o'clock hi the ^J^J
the "cascalho," now cleansed and purified, ts earned Jp the
side of a little stream of running water to be finally washed
At this operation each man has a large, flat, wooden vessel,
98 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
which he uses for washing out the gravel. This is called a
bateia, and in the bottom of it is always found a small quan-
tity of gold dust, which is carefully preserved.* It is spe-
cially worthy of note that it has been satisfactorily proved,
by means of specimens sent to the Royal Society of Edin-
burgh, that the Brazil diamond deposits are exactly similar
to some of those in Hindostan, situate in a quartzose mica
slate, or itacalumite.
Since Dr. Gardner visited Brazil in 1836, large additional
fields have been discovered; and Captain Burton f mentions
that the great Province of Bahia only commenced to work
its Chapada or diamantine plateau in 1845-6, and now ex-
tends its wealth almost to the seaboard. The rivers Para-
hyba du Sul, Verde, and Tibagy, in the provinces of Sao
Paulo and Parana, have produced diamonds ; and " evidently
Brazil has a vast extent of diamantine ground reserved for
future generations to work with intelligence, and especially
by means of machinery." I He says prospecting for diamonds
is done as follows: " The vegetable humus, the underlying
clay, and the desmonte or inundation sand are removed by
the almocatre (an oval-shaped, blunt-headed iron), till the la-
borers reach the gem-bearing ' cascalho.' This first work is
usually an open cut of a few feet square. The larger frag-
ments of quartz are then removed by the hand, the gravel is
washed in a bacco, canoa, or cuyaca, and finally the bateia is
used." At the Jequitinhonha diamond diggings, Burton found
a strong dyke of ashlar and earth run out from the right
bank to the mid-stream of the Rio das Pedras, and machinery
* This privilege of diamond- washing has for many years ceased to be a Government
monopoly in Brazil. One writer estimates that, " within the space of fourteen leagues
square, it is beneath the mark to state that 10,000 individuals subsist entirely upon the
product of diamonds and gold extracted from its soil. I was assured that the excite-
ment produced by this kind of life is like that of a gambler— whoever enters upon it
never renounces it."
t " Explorations of the Highlands of the Brazil, with a full account of the Gold and
Diamond Mines. ,, By Captain Richard F. Burton. 1869.
t In another place (vol. ii., p. 154) he remarks : " As yet the diamantine formations
of the Brazil have been barely scratched, and the works have been compared with
those of beavers. The rivers have not been turned ; the deep pools above and below
the rapids, where the great deposits must collect, have not been explored even with
the diving helmet ; the dry method of extraction, long ago known in Hindostan, is
still here unknown." If Brazil has not been even scratched, what has been done to
South Africa ?
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 99
with water motive power at work. At the Canteiro mine,
which had previously been given up as exhausted, £6,000
were spent by Sr. Vedigal before be got it into proper work-
ing order. During the season, three hundred slaves are em-
ployed, and the monthly expense is. £750. When the rich
cascalho or canga is struck, it is at once disposed in heaps
near the lavadeiro or washing place, which is an open
thatched ranch containing troughs, each four feet long, three
feet broad, and one deep. The system of diamond-washing
already described is copied from Ilindostan, with a few im-
provements, such as the peneira, or sieve pan, fitted at the
bottom with a piece of tin pierced with holes, averaging six
to the inch, and arresting stones of half a carat. The most
scrupulous care is taken that the smallest gems do not escape,
and a good washer employs from half an hour to three-quar-
ters of an hour to exhaust a single panfull. So absolutely
necessary is washing considered to be, that where it is not
possible, no attempt is made to find diamonds. The owners
of mines suffer very heavily from constant thefts, and a re-
ceiver of stolen goods settles near every new diffffinff* as
surely as a public-house follows a hydropathic establishment.
In describing the Sao Joao mine, Burton says: "Through the
ferruginous sandstone and the white felspathic matter run
dykes and lines of fragmentary rock crystal. Large pieces
of imperfect specular iron and thin strata of quartz, yellow
and brown at the junction, thread the argile; and I was
shown a specimen of fine sandy conglomerate, blackened and
scarified by the injection of melted matter. Lieut.-Colonel
Brant gave me a fragment of large-grained clay, reddish-
colored with oxide, and showing a small brilliant imbedded
in it." During the first twenty years of diamond discovery
in Brazil, no less than 1,000 ounces of diamonds were an-
nually obtained. Castelnau (vol. h\, p. 398) estimates the
total value of the Minas Gerais exportation at 300,000,000
francs; and, coining down to recent times, it is stated in Mr.
Nathar's annual report (Rio de Janeiro) that from 1861 to
1867, diamonds to the value of £1,888,000 have been sent out
of the country.
100 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
A HINT TO MAKE MOXET AT THE DIAMOND FIELDS.
When I first went to the fields, over a year ago, there was
a great scarcity of the proper kind of sieving-wire ; most of
the stuff sent there was either too small or too large in the
mesh ; or else the wire from which it was made was too fine,
and would not last more than a month before breaking:
through. Once in a while a small lot of the right kind would
arrive, which would be immediately bought up at an extrava-
gant figure. Upon my arrival at the fields the second time,
after an absence of seven months, and during my five months'
stay there, no improvement had been made in this respect,
although the merchants had known of the want of good
sieving for over a year, but had not sent the proper order
home to meet it ; and consequently good sieving was to be
had in very small quantities, and once in a while only, and
even poor sieving was difficult to find. The kind of sieving
needed there should be one-eighth of an inch mesh clear, and
the wire should be No. 10, or the sixteenth of an inch in
thickness. Now, the one-eighth inch mesh will allow two
out of five half-carat diamonds to pass through, but not a
three-quarter carat one ; and it does not pay the miner to
sort over the great amount of fine stuff that would accumu-
late if a finer mesh was used for saving a half-carat diamond.
The time saved in not sorting this fine stuff could be more
advantageously used in getting through a much larger quan-
tity of coarse stuff, thereby coming to a larger diamond, and
working out the claim quicker than otherwise — and time is
diamonds there. Any one shipping a few thousand yards of
the above-mentioned wire could dispose of it for at least a
pound sterling a yard. The American Engine Company
brought about fifty yards of this kind of wire from America,
and when they were about to leave the fields they sold it for
£2 a yard, and hundreds inquiring for more.
Another thing greatly needed at the mines is twenty-pound
sledge-hammers, for breaking up the hard lumps that are
taken out of the white strata at De Beer's New Rush ; a few
thousands of these would sell at a pound sterling each. While
speaking of these hard lumps, I may as well mention that
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 101
thousands of cart-loads are hauled out into the veld every
week and they, most undoubtedly, contain diamonds-and
large ones too. Now, if any one has inventive genius
enough to make a simple, cheap, and cheaply-working ma-
chine to crush these lumps-wttAotrf crushing the diamonds
-there is a larger fortune for him lying about loose in this
veld than has ever been accumulated in South Africa by any
one man. One of the most important drawbacks to living
and mining at the dry diggings is the want of water The
dams supply water for the cattle, but is too impure for human
beings, and the numerous wells do not supply a sufficient
quantity for drinking. There are two ways of supplying this
deficiency, one requiring at least £10,000 to be invested and
the other not more than £500, but not so sure as the first.
The first would consist of a line of sheet-iron pipes running
from the nearest fall or drift on the Vaal Paver over hill
and dale, to the highest point at or near Du Toits Pan
and De Beer's, which point is 130 feet higher than the \ aa
River, and the distance is sixteen miles. A great many will
think it absurd to lay a sheet-iron pipe, as they imagine that
it will easily corrode and burst ; but this is a mistake A
sheet-iron piping could be made, and has been made in
Sweden and used in California, say eleven inches m diameter,
and galvanized, that would stand a pressure of a column of
water 350 feet high, and last for years. Through this piping
water could he forced at the rate of say ten miles an hour
which would give as much water at the reservoir at Da
Toit's Pan as could be floated in a four-foot canal at two
miles an hour. The water would be forced through the
pTpSg by a hydraulic engine, worked by a French tuvbine
w teitwheel that could be set alongside of the Vaal River at
he mouth of a four-foot race, with a fall of ten feet only.
Tins motive power would not have need of much attention;
one man could attend it. The piping could be laid on the
surface, and when full of water, and the pressure on an ele-
phant could not make an impression upon it. Of course, it
could be sunk or carried over the roads. From the reservoir
the water could be led in all directions by its own press-
ure for miles and miles. The spot where I would propose to
102 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
build the reservoir is the highest between the Vaal and Mod-
der Rivers, and half-way between Do Beer's and Du Toit's
Pan (about three-quarters of a mile from each). An immense
dividend could be made from this water by supplying the in-
habitants with drinking and washing water at a penny a
bucket. I have paid sixpence a bucket at the New Rush, and
found it difficult to get it at that price. Now, there are say
25,000 people at the three camps — Du Toit's Pan, De Beer's,
and the New Rush — and there will be this number there, if
not more, for at least five years, and perhaps twenty-five
years, as the pay-dirt extends to a much greater depth than
at any other previously-discovered deposit. At least three
buckets a day would be used for each person ; anyhow, an
aggregate of 50,000 a day, which would make an income alone
of over £100 a day. Secondly, from water sold for min-
ing purposes. As soon as a miner finds out that by using
water at say 25. a day, he can dispense with four laborers that
cost him 125. a day, and do the same amount of work much
better, he will most undoubtedly purchase the water, thus
giving an income of £200 a day to the stockholders of the
water company ; and, lastly, the immense advantage to the
farms, the owners of which would be willing to pay a good
round sum for irrigating water (one farmer offered £1,500 for
a running stream of three inches to be taken from the reser-
voir). There is no doubt but that water-works carried on as
above described would pay for themselves in less than two
months after they had been laid down ; and they could be
laid down and put in working order in four months from the
time that the order was sent to Europe for the material. The
greatest cost of the whole affair would be transportation from
the South African port to the fields, which alone would be
The other or cheaper plan of procuring water, but rather un-
certain, would be to sink artesian wells ; but the objection to
this is the uncertainty of getting sufficient water for drinking
purposes only, and the uncertainty of cost. The last sug-
gestion that I have to make is starting vegetable gardens.
Now, a Californian would get about twenty acres of land
from some " chuckle-headed " Dutchman, and plant cabbages,
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 103
cauliflowers, tomatoes, onions, etc, and make his everlasting
dividend therefrom. J - L - '
N B _The above is not particularly for the benefit ot the
speculator, but if carried out will benefit the miner much.
A correspondent, writing from Ilopetown on the 26th of
last month, says : ,
« What is the real diamond matrix ? has been asked over
and over again in the diamondiferous tracts of Brazil and
India They have been found imbedded in a micaceous sand-
stone' in Brazil, and in a conglomerate sandstone of India, but
neither of these is believed to be the ultimate matrix. It may
be that a region which has undergone no changes since the
secondary geological epoch, except those of gradual and
uniform denudation, like South Africa, may, by ultimate
investigation, solve the problem. At all events, I do not
believe that the diamonds have been carried down by the
Vaal The Vaal region, I feel persuaded, has been the the-
ater 'of diamond formation. The component rocks represent-
ed in the water-worn pebbles are from the strata and forma-
tions of the Vaal— and why not the diamonds ?
'< This is not the place to enter upon any purely geological
discussion. I can not go into details involving the use ot geo-
logical terminology in a popular newspaper, and therefore what
I have said must suffice. One thing, however, may be said in
dismissing the subject, that the geology of the Vaal region is
alto-ether different from the secondary and trappen forma-
tions of the colony. When the traveler passes through the
Free State by Fauresmith, he has the tabular mountains and
Ltzkops so common and all-prevailing in South Africa, till
f anlvcs within a few hours' distance of the Vaal. A mani-
fest change sets in, and for miles on miles there is a luxunant
and undulating plain, almost undisturbed by any hills. He
feels that the,^ is a break in the structure of the country.
When he comes to the Vaal, an entirely different landscape
appears before him. The perpetual greenstone porphyries
of the colony have vanished, and genuine basalt makes its
appearance. This basalt he finds protruding through con-
104 SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS.
glomerate and amygdaloid trap. Glittering pebbles of every
form and color glisten at his feet, and he feels indeed that he
is in a new rem on.
" It might be considered desirable that I should give some
opinion as to the exact nature of the gravelly mass in which
diamonds are more abundantly found. I was careful to
question the diggers on this subject, and as a matter of course
got very variable information. Some prefer the summits of
* the kopies rather than the sides, and this opinion is supported
by some show of reason, as extensive washing by rain and
surface water must carry away the accumulation of gravel
from the slopes. But surely the kloofs filled with sand must
have under the surface the greater part of the alluvium of
the sides. There is no attempt made to penetrate through
this sand to the gravel underneath, as yet, by the diggers,
and, indeed, their mining is altogether surface work and mere
scraping, to what it ought to be. The time will come when
the kloofs and hollows will be dug into and searched, and, I
believe, with success.
" In regard to the constituent stones of good diamondifer-
ous gravel, satisfactory information cannot be got. Some
diggers prefer a light-colored and sparkling gravel ; others,
again, are greatly in favor of dark, pebbly soil. Diggers
generally eschew gravel w T ith quartz fragments (not water-
worn) in it. Rotten ironstone pebbles (basalt) are considered
a favorable sign. For many reasons, which I cannot discuss
in this letter, I am inclined to think that the best indications
are garnets (what diggers style rubies) and peridot (a blue,
" One point, and I must conclude this letter. The tops of
the kopies considerably above the present water-level are men-
tioned above as having alluvial soil, consisting of thoroughly
worn and rounded pebbles. A casual observer will quickly
perceive that there have been upheavals, and probably suc-
cessive, evervwhere. The basalt of the summits has wed<:e-
shaped crevices, wide at the top and narrowing downward.
Forming at one time the bottom of the river, the kopies have
been raised, and the alluvial gravel has fallen into the inter-
stices to some extent, the greater part remaining as a cover
SOUTH AFRICAN DIAMOND FIELDS. 105
to the kopies, or rather appearing now as a sort of matrix in
which the angular blocks of basalt are imbedded."
A SPLENDID COLLECTION OF DIAMONDS.
After a five months' absence, Mr. Jerome L. Babe, the
well-known representative in this colony of the Winchester
Repeating Rifle Company, has returned to Capetown from
the diamond fields, where he has been singularly successful
both in finding and purchasing diamonds. During his stay
at the fields he exported to England and America over fifteen
hundred diamonds, of which one hundred were as large as
twenty-seven carats, and the smallest ten. He has brought
with him 275 picked diamonds, which are said to be the finest
collection that has ever been seen in this town. They are
exhibited in a little glass-covered case, and the singular bril-
liancy and perfect shape of all the gems are remarkable.
They are complete octahedrons, and one of them, of eight
carats, is, perhaps, of its size, the most perfect gem that has
been found at the fields. These he intends taking with him
Mr. Babe, in leaving this colony, will have the satisfaction
of being one of the most successful of those who have visited
the diamond fields of South Africa. In addition to this, all
the arms imported under his direction have been disposed of
in the colony. Mr. Babe is brimful of racy stories of " the
diamondiferous regions," and his experience will not deter his
countrymen from giving us a look up.
It is not at all unlikely, if Mr. Babe's other engagements
do not deter him, that he will give during the ensuing winter
a series of illustrated lectures in the chief cities of the United
States. He takes home with him sketches of the diamond
country, the camps, and the mode of life of the diggers, and
he has specimens of soil and gravel. These lectures will do
more to give the people of America a correct estimate of our
fields than anything that has been said or written about them
yet. A casket of diamonds, valued at £5,000, will be one of
the great attractions of these lectures.— Capetown paper.
WW if ©It®
Corner of Adderley and Hout Sts.,
S. R. Stuttaford & Co.,
Drapers, Hosiers, Hatters, Haberdashers,
Cloth and Carpet Warehousemen,
Are receiving per each Mail Steamer
And always keep in Stock a Superior Assortment of Gentlemen's, Silk
and Felt Hats; also, a large supply of Cloths, Coatings, Angolas,
Tweeds, and Doe-skins; White Shirts, Flannel Shirts, Collars, Neck-
Ties, Scarfs, Braces, Pocket-Handkerchiefs, Dress and Colored Kid
Gloves, Dog-skin and Tilbury Driving Gloves, Umbrellas, Carpet and
Leather Bags, Solid Leather Portmanteaus, Socks, Hosiery, Towels,
Cotton, Merino, and Lamb's-wool Pants and Under-Vests ; Traveling
Rugs, Black, Brown, Drab, and California-color Cords and Mole-skins.
LADIES' AND CHILDREN'S UNDER-CLOTHING;
Stays, Jackets, Mantles, Straw Goods, Millinery. Shawls and Dress
Materials in great variety. Silks, Satins, and Velvets, in Black and
Colored, in well-assorted qualities.
A good assortment of Blankets, Counterpanes, Sheetings, Table
Damask, Carpets, Floor Cloth, Cloth and Damask Table Covers, Muslin
Curtains, Muslin, Duck, and Wagon Canvas, Drills, American Leathers,
Ladies' and Children's Gloves, Hosiery, Lace, Bibbons, Buttons,
Trimmings. Haberdashery of all descriptions.
Samples of any description of Cut Material forwarded to any pare
of the Colony. It will be to the interest of our country friends to for-
ward their orders direct ; by so doing they will be enabled to obtain,
per post-cart or transport wagon,
First-class Articles at very Reduced Prices.
Note the Address —
S. R. STUTTAFORD & CO.,
ADDERLEY STREET AND HOUT STREET,
C-A.I»ETO'W _ 3Sr.
&L U XwJuJjJu^i 9
No. 16 CASTLE ST., CAPETOWN,
Buys Rough Diamonds at highest market rates, and makes
liberal advances on Produce consigned to his Agents,
Messrs. ROSING, MELCHER'S,
Bllliter Square, London, England.
VAN DER BYLT & CO., '
39 St. George's Street,
Merchants & Commission Agents.
ORDERS FOR PURCHASE OF
JDIA.MO]Srr>S, WOOL, SKINS,
and other Colonial Produce suitable for the American market,
promptly attended to.
Liberal advances made on Consignments.
Messrs. REYNOLDS & CUSHMAN, New York,
Messrs. CHALMERS, GUTHRIE & CO.,
9 Idol Lane, London.
TAYLOR, KEMP & COMPANY,
SHIPPING AND INSURANCE AGENTS,
PORT ELIZABETH, ALGOA BAY,
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.
Boston and New York : ISAAC TAYLOR.
DU TOIT'S PAN.
MESSES. BENNING- & MARTIN
Beg to announce their having opened the LEVIATHAN HOTEL,
in the most central position of DU TOIT'S PAN, where the weary
traveler will find every comfort. Good Single and Doable-Bedded
Rooms, spacious Dining Saloon, replete with every comfort and
Brilliant Bar, with best of everything drinkable.
Luxurious Card and Lounging Rooms, Lavatories, etc., and a good
staff of attendants on man and beast.
THE WHOLE SUPERINTENDED BY TnE PROPRIETORS,
BENNING & MARTIN,
Late of King WUUamstoicn and Pniel.
TABLE BAY, CAPE OF GOOD HOPE,
H. R. H. THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH,
On the 11th July, 1870,
Are now Open to the Trade of the World.
They consist of an INNER BASIN of ten acres, with a depth of 24
feet low water, with an entrance 100 feet wide, and an OUTER BASIN
of six acres ; the whole protected by a BREAKWATER extending
1,900 feet into the Bay.
The Dues for Vessels entering the Docks are 6d. per ton register for
one month, and Id. per ton per week afterward.
No Harbor, Light, or any other Dues Chargeable
on Shipping Frequenting the Port.
In the Inner Basin of the Dock there is a PATENT SLIP, capable
of taking up vessels of 1,500 tons burden, and the charges are:
For vessels of 50 tons and under, £15 for ten days, and £3 per day after.
Vessels over 50 tons, taken up for repairs, 7 s. 6d. per register ton for
ten days, and £6 per day after.
Iron vessels taken up for cleaning and painting only, 5s. per register
ton for ten days, and £6 for every day after.
Steamers charged according to their gross tonnage.
The Ten Days are Exclusive of Sundays.
The days of taking up and launching are reckoned as one.
The Purest Water is Delivered on Board of Vessels in the
Docks at Three Shillings per Ton.
JSy order of the Board.
Table Bay Harbor Commission Office,
Capetown, July, 1870.
in? n If
Hough and Cut,
BOUGHT ^l^sTD SOLD
SET TO ORDER
Watchmaker, Jeweler, and Optician,
7 SHORTMARKET STREET,
Opposite the Central Hotel,
O A. PETOW ]ST .
G. A. B.'s long acquaintance with this Colony enables him to direct
his particular attention to Importing that class of Articles which are
best adapted for general wear in this climate, and begs to inform his
Customers and the Public that he has always in Stock
•MI mi Sifter SagXfeli s«4 toawa
Fine Gold Jewelry
Of Every Description and Latest Designs.
Diamond Scales and Weights, Magnifying Glasses, Emery
Files, Colored and Plain Spectacles, Goggles,
Telescopes, Fieid and Night Glasses,
Compasses and Nautical In-
DIAMONDS SENT TO EUROPE FOR CUTTING.
Guarantee Given for every Watch Sold or Repaired.
W- All new work and Repairs intrusted to G. A. B.'s care are
executed on the Premises.
Orders from the Fields punctually attended to in the shortest pos-
AL APPOINT HIT
TO H. R. H. DUKE OF EDINBURGH.
TWO DOOMS FJR031 CENTRAL HOTEL.
23 Adderley St. & 2 Shortmarket St.,
JEWELER, WATCHMAKER, AND OPTICIAN,
Photographic and Pancy Goods,
Has always on hand a large stock of the choicest of fine Gold Jewelry,
Silver Cups, Inkstands, Snuff Boxes, Silver Electro-plated Ware,
Cutlery, Perfumery and Scented Soap, Telescopes and Opera-Glasses,
Musical Boxes, Diamond Scales, Microscopes, Emery Files for testing
Diamonds, Gold and Silver Watches, and Clocks.
E. B. being a Practical Optician, would recommend parties whose
sight is failing to call at his establishment for
as they can be manufactured to suit every sight. Also, colored glass
Spectacles for the Fields.
Photographs of Capetown, Diamond Fields, and the different Native
Tribes. Diamonds, Old Gold, and Silver Bought.
23 Adderley Street and 2 Shortmarket Street.
CAPE AND NATAL STEAM NAVIGATION CO.
This Company starts a Steamer on the first of each Month. The
Port of Departure is London. The Vessel calls at Dartmouth to em-
bark Mails and Passengers.
The Steamers are First-Class ones of 2,000 tons and 600 Horse-
Power. The Passenger Accommodation is
UNRIVALED BY ANY BOAT IN THE TRADE.
Chief Cabin 30 Guineas | 2d Class 20 Guineas
The Agents in England are
Messrs. PAYNE & CO.,
And at the Cape,
"W- IDICIKISOlSr <Sc CO.
THE CAPE AND NATAL
STEAMERS FROM LONDON MONTHLY,
CAPETOWN, PORT ELIZABETH,
MOSSEL BAY, NATAL, EAST LONDON.
AFFORDING MOST DESIRABLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARTIES
TO ALL PORTS OF THE COLONY,
EN ROUTE TO THE
APPLICATION IN LONDON TO
G. H. PAYNE & CO.
AT THE HEAD OFFICE, 117 LEADENHALL STREET,
.AjxTCDEiisoisr <sc :m:tt:riso:n-.
THIS IS THE
First-Class Hotel of Capetown.
Its position is central, and within two minutes' walk of the principal
No Hotel in Capetown is possessed of the advantages such as those
secured for the
The Cuisine is Unequaled.
SKILLED WAITERS ARE ENGAGED,
And every Attention is shown.
THE LIQUORS ARE OF THE BEST,
CHARGES ARE MODERATE.
NEWSPAPERS, PERIODICALS, AND MAGAZINES
RECEIVED BY EVERY MAIL.
Passengers arriving in the Colony should not fail to engage Apart-
ments at this Hotel.
Strand Street and St. George's Street,
CAPETOWN, SOUTH AFRICA.
Importer of British and Foreign
MANUFACTURES IN HARDWARE,
HAS CONSTANTLY IN STOCK
AGRICULTTOAL AND GAEDEN IMPLEMENTS,
Machinists' Tools of Every Description ,
Colorznens' Materials, Oils, Paints, Varnish, Brush-ware, etc.
Furnishing Ironmongery, Hollow-ware, Enamel-ware, Cutlery,
Tinware, Washing Basins, Baths, Tea and Coffee-Pots,
GUNPOWDER, SHOT, CAPS, SHOT-POUCHES, Etc., Etc.
Merchants and Country Dealers Supplied at the Lowest W/iolesale Bates.
G. S. HOLMES & CO.,
Agents for the
UNITED STATES BOARDS OF UNDERWRITERS.
Agents for the
NEW BEDFORD AND NEW LONDON WHALEMEN,
CAFETCWlSr, C- G- KC.
Boston : Messrs. W. F. Weld & Co., Messrs. II. W, Peabody & Co.
New York : Messrs. W. W. Db Forest & Co., Frederick Baker, Esq.
Messrs. Holmes & Co. have been Established here over Thirty
Years, and are thoroughly acquainted with the Business and Resources
of the' Colony. Large Stocks of
ALWAYS ON HAND.
HT Consignments or Orders for the Purchase of Produce will
receive Prompt and Careful Attention.
LIBERAL ADVANCES MADE ON DIAMONDS.
THE STANDARD BANK
BEITISH SOUTH AFRICA.
Three Million Pounds (£3,000,000) Sterling.
40) ©LIMIGOTS LAN I, LOMBARD §T„ LONDON, 1* Q.
London Bankers :
IBANK OF ENGLAND, ALLIANCE BANK.
BRANCHES IN SOUTH AFRICA:
Aliwal North, Beaufort West, Capetown, Colesberg, Cradock,
Durban (Natal), Graham'stown, King William's Town, Klip
Drift (Diamond Fields), Mossel Bay, Pieter Maritz
burg (Natal), Fort Elizabeth, Richmond, Somer-
set East, Uitenhage, Victoria West.
General Manager in South Africa— ROBERT STEWART, Esq.
Agents — British and Colonial.
NATIONAL PROVINCIAL BANK OF ENGLAND.
COMMERCIAL BANK OF SCOTLAND.
NORTH OF SCOTLAND BANKING COMPANY
ULSTER BANKING COMPANY.
HIBERNIAN JOINT STOCK BANK.
ORIENTAL BANK CORPORATION.
CHARTERED MERCANTILE BANK OF INDIA, LONDON,
UNION BANK OF AUSTRALIA (Australia and New Zealand).
BANK OF NEW ZEALAND.
Agents — Fore ign.
In United States of America:
New York.. Messrs. ROWLAND & ASPINWALL.
Boston Messrs. WARREN & CO.
In Brazils— LONDON AND BRAZILIAN BANK.
Every description of Banking business connected with South Africa
or elsewhere conducted on the most favorable terms.
Undertakes the realization of Diamonds and other precious Stones,
in any of the chief markets of the world which the owners may select,
accounting for the proceeds, in gold, at the Diamond Fields, at any of
the Branches in South Africa, at the Head Office in London, or else-
Persons proceeding to South Africa, or having payments to make
there, can obtain Drafts or Letters of Credit on any of the Branches
there, either by direct application to the Head Office in London, or
through any of the Agents of the Bank.
JEROME L. BABE,
Hough and Cut
«» «« ♦
Mr. Babe goes to Europe four times a year, purchases Rough Dia-
monds from tlie
South African Diamond lines,
has them cut, and is thus enabled to supply the American Trade with
AT THE LOWEST RATES.
3,217 Sansom Street,
TO THE DIAMOND FIELDS AND BACK
CAPE 01 GOOD HOPE
Inland Transport Company.
The Company's Wagons, for the Conveyance of Passengers and
Parcels, leave Capetown by the shortest route for the Pniel Diamond
Fields by the 7.16 Train every Thursday and Saturday Morning, re-
turning to Capetown on the Monday fortnight following by the 6.30
A.M. Train from Wellington.
To enable Passengers to reach the Fields in the time named, con-
tinuous relays of Cattle are employed.
Refreshments may be obtained at any of the Stopping Places at
very reasonable Rates.
To Beaufort West £5
To Victoria West 6
To Hopetown 9
To the Diamond Fields 12
401b. Luggage allowed. Extra Luggage by Special Agreement.
Packages and Parcels are conveyed to
Beaufort or Victoria West, at Gd. per pound.
To Hopetown, at 9d. per pound.
To the Diamond Fields, at 1.9. 3^?. per pound.
The Vehicles may be inspected by intending Passengers; and any
further information, either as regards Time-tables or Intermediate Fares,
obtained by application to the undersigned. Information can also be
obtained at the Commercial Exchange, or at the Railway Station,
Passengers and Parcels are booked at the Office of the Company,
Grave Street, one door from Darling Street, Capetown, Cape of Good
Hope. Information can also be obtained at the Commercial Exchange
and the Railway Station in Capetown. Passengers' Luggage must
be delivered and weighed on or before Wednesday Evening at five
ISAAC SOOTENBEEG & CO.,
DIRECT IMPORTERS OF
London & American Manufactures,
PROVISIONS AND MINING TOOLS.
Always pn hand,
SCOTCH CABTS, CRADLES, and the right
sort of PICKAXES and SHOVELS.
Parties going to the DIAMOND FIELDS will do well to FIT
themselves out here in JACOBSDAL, as it is only thirty-six miles
from the Main Diggings, and goods bought here will be forwarded
with our own wagons to the Diggings, free of charge.
ALL MINING IMPLEMENTS
have been personally selected by our Mr. Isaac Sonnenberg, who
has had seventeen years' experience in Mining in California, Nevada,
Idaho, and Montana Territory, U. 8. America.
Give us a call as you pass through, as it is the nearest route to the
Any information about New Camps, and so fortb given toithout
AGENTS FOR PORT ELIZABETH AND QUEENSTOWN
And DAILY COMMUNICATION with the DIAMOND FIELDS,
JACOBSDAL, O. F. State.
ISAAC SONNENBERG & CO
Branch Houses at
Du Ton's Pan and the New Rushes.
16 SHOTS IN 10 SECONDS,
30 Slots a Minute as a Single Loader.
rtins Rifle in the World
BEST DEFENSIVE WEAPON KNOWN.
Metallic Waterproof Cartridges.
tPriee, from $60 lo $ 700,
ACCOKDING TO FINISII.
CARTRIDGES $20 PER 1,000.
Manufactured at New Haven, Conn.
Soli If all Gunsmiths throughout the Union,
Messrs. G. S. HOLMES & CO.,
Messrs. TAYLOR, KEMP & CO.,
Messrs. Henderson & Scott,
These Rifles are Universally Used at the